UK finance minister Jeremy Hunt says next two years will be challenging

UK finance minister Jeremy Hunt says next two years will be challenging

Finance minister Jeremy Hunt said Britain would face a challenging next two years but his new budget plans would help to tackle inflation and put the economy on a stronger footing.

Hunt announced a string of tax increases and tighter public spending on Thursday, saying they were needed to cut debt and bring down inflation which has surged since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine compounded post-pandemic supply chain disruption.

Britain’s budget forecasters said, however, that households would face a record hit to living standards over the next two years as the jump in inflation, which hit a 41-year high of 11.1% in October, erodes incomes.

“Over the next two years it is going to be challenging, but I think people want a government that is taking difficult decisions, has a plan that will bring down inflation, stop those big rises in the cost of energy bills and the weekly shop,” Hunt told Sky News.

“None of this is easy, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Asked whether Hunt’s Conservative Party would support his moves to increase taxes at a time when the country is entering a recession, the finance minister said he had no choice but to take difficult decisions.

“There is nothing Conservative about spending money that you haven’t got,” he said. “There is nothing Conservative about not tackling inflation. There’s nothing Conservative about ducking difficult decisions that put the economy on track.”

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