British finance minister Jeremy Hunt plans to set out on Nov. 17 up to 60 billion pounds ($67.82 billion) of tax rises and spending cuts, including at least 35 billion pounds ($39.56 billion) in cuts, the Guardian reported on Sunday.
Citing a Whitehall source, the newspaper said the figures remained estimates and subject to change, but that Hunt had told staff he was looking for at least 50-60 billion pounds’ worth of measures in his autumn statement.
Responding to a Reuters request for comment, the Treasury said it does not comment on speculation around fiscal events.
Hunt and new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in power for just over a week, are trying to find ways to cut spending and increase revenue to plug a budget hole worsened by Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss’s debt-fueled economic plans.
Early drafts of the statement to be delivered on Nov. 17 contain plans for up to 35 billion pounds of spending cuts and up to 25 billion pounds of tax rises, likely to include freezing income tax thresholds and targeting dividend tax relief, the Guardian report said.
It said decisions on whether to raise benefits in line with inflation or to change the pensions “triple lock” were likely to be taken within days, so that the independent Office for Budget Responsibility could factor any such changes into its forecasts. ($1 = 0.8847 pounds) (Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans)