Autumn Statement could allow for a truly Conservative agenda says Priti Patel

Jeremy Hunt hails UK growth as he unveils autumn statement

Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement has been welcomed by former Home Secretary Priti Patel, who believes it has put the foundations in place for a genuinely Conservative vision.

All eyes were on Mr Hunt this afternoon in the House of Commons, as he unveiled plans to cut national insurance from 12 to 10 percent and increase pensions to 8.5 percent, along with a raft of other measures.

Ms Patel, the Tory MP for Witham in Essex, responded in an op-ed penned for tomorrow’s Daily Express, and suggested Mr Hunt’s changes would “go some way” to helping families struggling with the cost of living crisis to keep more of what they earned.

She wrote: “The Chancellor in the Autumn Statement has finally nudged the door open to recognising that hard pressed households and small business require essential support, and his measures today have shown he recognises the pressures they are facing.

“The public must start to feel the benefits of the measures that have been announced to regain their trust and confidence in the Conservative vision of delivering a country that provides a fair economic future for us all.”

While the lowering in the rate of inflation was welcome, it should not be confused with a tax cut, Ms Patel pointed out, warning Rishi Sunak’s Government it could not “just rely on lower inflation rates to support the economy”.

She continued: “Inflation may have halved but prices are still rising, and households and businesses continue to feel the pinch.

“The changes and cuts to national insurance are vital and will go some way to helping keep more of their hard-earned money.

“Express readers would know that with wages rising, people were paying more in income tax because the tax-free allowance threshold and the higher rate threshold had been frozen and were due to remain unchanged until 2028.”

She said: “I hope the Chancellor will build upon his statement today and put in place a strategic plan to raise the threshold so fewer people are caught handing 40 percent of their earnings over to the taxman.”

Ms Patel concluded: “I believe the statement could pave the way forward for the Conservative Party to advance the cause of freedom, promoting enterprise, and unlocking opportunity and offer the public a compelling economic policy that delivers lower taxes, supply side reforms, and promotes enterprise.”

Commending his statement to the House, Mr Hunt said: “We are delivering the biggest business tax cut in modern British history; the largest ever cut to employee and self-employed National Insurance; and the biggest package of tax cuts to be implemented since the 1980s.

“An Autumn Statement for a country that has turned a corner.”

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