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Hunt delays pain of austerity package to give Tories a chance

£55bn of tax increases and spending cuts set to bite in 2024 and after next election

  • Autumn statement – key points at a glance
  • Politics live: latest news and reaction on UK budget plans
  • Business live – autumn statement updates and analysis

There is never a good time for a politician to deliver an austerity package but announcing tax increases and spending cuts more than halfway through a parliament with a recession just under way is pretty much as bad as it gets.

Jeremy Hunt’s task in his autumn statement was not to make matters worse for the economy, and to give the Conservatives some hope that they might win the next general election. All at the same time as convincing the financial markets that the government was serious about reducing state borrowing.

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