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‘There is no money’ could be Hunt’s own note to next chancellor | Larry Elliott

‘There is no money’ could be Hunt’s own note to next chancellor | Larry Elliott

‘There is no money’ could be Hunt’s own note to next chancellor | Larry Elliott
Mar 01, 2024 55 secs

Under pressure from Rishi Sunak to deliver pre-election tax cuts, the chancellor is scrabbling around for cash to fund the much-anticipated giveaways.

Opinion polls suggest the Conservatives are heading for a polling-day pummelling when the election is held, and the state of the economy is the principal cause of voter discontent.

Hunt’s case is that since 2010 the UK has grown faster than Spain, Italy, France, Germany or Japan, and that after hitting a 40-year high of 11.1% in October 2022, inflation is coming down fast.

Even so, he says the three and a half years between the referendum in June 2016 and the December 2019 general election – when it was unclear on what terms the UK would leave the EU, if it all – created political instability that depressed investment.

Back in 2003, Mervyn King, then governor of the Bank of England, said the economy had enjoyed a NICE – non-inflationary, consistently expansionary decade – in which Lady Luck had smiled on the UK.

Rachel Reeves, Hunt’s Labour shadow, says the party that wins the next election will have the direst inheritance of an incoming government since the second world war.

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