Autumn statement ‘set direction of travel’, says Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Laura Trott said the Conservatives wanted to ‘bring the tax burden down’ but would not say whether there would be future cuts.

Rhiannon James
Sunday 26 November 2023 11:22 GMT
Laura Trott said the Government was being ‘straight’ with the public on tax cuts (Jordan Pettitt/PA)
Laura Trott said the Government was being ‘straight’ with the public on tax cuts (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The autumn statement has “set a direction of travel”, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has said.

Laura Trott said the Conservatives wanted to “bring the tax burden down” but would not say whether there would be future tax cuts.

Appearing on Sky News, Ms Trott told the Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme: “We don’t comment on future fiscal events.

If you are on average income, because of the changes that we’ve made, your tax burden will have gone down quite significantly

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott

“But what I would say is that we have set a direction of travel to grow the economy, to support businesses and to reward work, and we want to bring that tax burden down over time in a responsible way.”

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a national insurance cut worth £10 billion in his autumn statement this week.

Ms Trott’s comments follow an indication from the Prime Minister that there would be additional tax cuts next year.

Rishi Sunak told the Mail On Sunday that his Government would “do more when we can” on tax cuts.

Ms Trott also said the Government was being “straight” with the public on tax cuts.

Speaking to Laura Kuenssberg, she said: “If you are on average income, because of the changes that we’ve made, your tax burden will have gone down quite significantly.

“We have been very open about that. If you are on some of the highest wages, we have asked you to take more of the burden. That is a policy decision that we have taken but the overall direction now – we have turned a corner, we are going to bring taxes down but we’re going to do it in a non-inflationary way.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones said fixing the Government’s “deep structural problems” would take time.

We have already identified that there is things that the Conservatives currently spend money on, not very effectively, that we think we could spend more effectively to solve problems, especially in the short-term

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones

Appearing on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme, he said: “After 13 years of the Conservatives in Government, we have deep structural problems in our country, in our economy, in the labour market and in our public services.”

Mr Jones said Labour intended to use “switch spends” to utilise the budget and spend effectively, if elected at the next general election.

On switch spends, he said: “We have already identified that there is things that the Conservatives currently spend money on, not very effectively, that we think we could spend more effectively to solve problems, especially in the short-term.

“One example of that actually is the asylum backlog, given we’ve been talking about migration figures today, where there’s been an underspend in certain budgets that we think we can spend on recruiting more senior case workers to make decisions more quickly.

“Another example, the capital budgets on school buildings have not been being spent effectively and yet we know we’ve got these problems with the RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) issue, with the safety of our schools, we would re-prioritise those budgets to make sure those issues are being dealt with more quickly.”

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