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Jeremy Hunt declares he is ready to ‘cut taxes and bet on growth’

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has declared he is ready to “cut taxes and bet on growth” after the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew again in February.

The GDP was estimated to rise 0.1 per cent in February, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The previous estimate for January was also revised from 0.2 per cent to 0.3 per cent growth.

Writing in the Daily Express, the Chancellor said Britain “has done the hard yards” and the economy is “bouncing back”.

“Today, it was confirmed that the economy grew in January and February. And the positive economic data we’ve been seeing recently shows that Britain is back in business,” Mr Hunt said.

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“Already, the progress we have made has meant I’ve been able to cut taxes – rewarding work and helping get more people into employment.

“Britain has done the hard yards on inflation, now we are ready to cut taxes and bet on growth.”

ONS director of economic statistics Liz McKeown said widespread growth in manufacturing, particularly in the motor sector, helped spur the economic growth.

“Services also grew a little with public transport and haulage, and telecommunications having strong months,” she said.

“Partially offsetting this there were notable falls across construction as the wet weather hampered many building projects.”

Chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics Rob Wood said they are “optimistic about the near-term outlook for GDP”.

“Both services and manufacturing have returned to growth this year and the construction sector will likely join them once the rain disruption passes.”

Mr Hunt added that inflation in Britain has fallen from over 11 per cent to 3.4 per cent and said that economists at the Bank of England expect it to fall to two per cent next month.

“I have cut National Insurance by a third, from 12 per cent to 8 per cent. That means £900 in the pocket of someone on the average salary,” Mr Hunt said.

“But I plan to go further, cutting taxes that hold back growth. Advanced economies with lower taxes have generally seen higher growth over the last decade or so.”

On Friday, Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “After 14 years of Conservative economic failure, Britain is worse off with low growth and high taxes.

“The Conservatives cannot fix the economy because they are the reason it is broken.”

PA Media – Cormac Pearson