Sunak suggests more tax cuts on the way – but refuses to commit to triple lock election promise

Rishi Sunak has suggested that more tax cuts are on the way because the economy has “turned a corner”.

The prime minister told reporters that while he would not comment on the specifics, cutting taxes was “the direction of travel from this government”.

But it came as he refused to say whether the pensions triple lock would be in the next Conservative party manifesto – despite Downing Street insisting in September that it was “committed” to the policy.

Sir. Sunak’s comments echo similar remarks by his ministers in recent weeks.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt also said last month that the economy had “turned a corner” just before he revealed a cut to National Insurance i Autumn declaration.

However, four million people could also end up paying higher taxes if their wages rise after the government decided continue the freezing of the tax limits.

Reports suggest the Conservatives are considering further cuts in 2024 as the party tries to woo voters and reduce Labour’s 20 point lead in opinion polls ahead of the next general election, which must take place no later than 28 January 2025.

Cut to stamp duty and inheritance tax is among the options reportedly being looked at by ministers.

When asked about the two policies, Mr Sunak said: “I would never comment on specific taxes. But what I will say is that we have turned a corner.

“We’ve got inflation down, as I said we would, we’ve got the economy growing and we’re now focused on controlling spending and controlling welfare so we can lower taxes. So when we can do more, we will.”

He added: “We want to grow the economy, we want to reward people’s hard work and aspirations and cut their taxes responsibly. That’s the direction of travel from this government.

“If you want government spending controlled, welfare controlled and your taxes reduced, vote Conservative.”

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Sunak was unable to make similar promises on the triple lock, which ensures the state pension must rise each April by the higher of average earnings, inflation or 2.5%.

The policy has come under fire in recent months by critics who claims it has become too expensive and gives the government less economic “headroom” to deal with economic shocks.

Some senior Tories have called for it to be scrapped and Labor has refused to guarantee the triple lock will remain in place if it wins the next election.

While the Government continued the policy in its latest Autumn Statement which ensures the State Pension will rise by 8.5% in April 2024 to £221.20 a week, Mr Sunak refused to be drawn when asked directly if it would be in the next Tory manifesto.

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Analysis: Autumn statement 2023

He spoke to reporters as he flew between the UK and Dubai COP28 summitHe answered: “[I’m] certainly not going to start writing the manifesto on the plane, as much fun as that would be.”

Sir. Sunak acknowledged there had been “some skepticism” about whether the policy should be included in the Autumn Statement, but said its inclusion had been “a signal of our commitment to look after our pensioners, who have put a lot into our country “.

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