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conservative former ministers have expressed concern over the tax cut program set out in the chancellor’s financial report.

The conservative chairman of Art Treasury Special Committee Mel Stride said the statement had a “huge void at the centre” due to the lack of an independent forecast Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).

Former finance minister John Glenn said there were “unfortunate realities” in the plans as interest rates and inflation rose at the same time as Govt plans to borrow additional money to finance tax cuts.

Mr Stride, who backed losing Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Sunak, welcomed the chancellor’s announcement but added: “There is a huge void at the heart of the announcements that have been made this morning and that is the lack of an independent OBR forecast.

“At a time when markets are beginning to falter on government bonds, when the currency is under pressure, now is the time for transparency and to make it clear that whatever tax cuts or other measures are taken, they are being done in a fiscally responsible way. .”

He called for the independent observer’s forecast to be published “without further delay”.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng reminded him that “in my statement I made a very strong commitment that the OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) would produce a forecast by the end of the calendar year”.

The chancellor insisted that the forecast was “fully in line with the measures outlined”.

Former minister Mr Glenn, also a supporter of Mr Sunak, said: “I see the economic logic behind changing the bankers’ bonus cap. But I would say that in my four and a half years as city minister, the biggest concern for banks has been the overall tax burden.

“I would urge him to focus on the global competitiveness of this.

“The final point I would like to make is that in an era of significant inflation uncertainty in the markets, there is clear concern about the stark realities of tightening monetary policy at the same time as easing the budget, and I would welcome the Chancellor’s comments and reassurance markets at this time.”

Mr Kwarteng said he was “absolutely right” to say bankers were concerned about the overall tax burden, adding: “That’s why a lot of City of London banks are going to Paris because they pay 30% tax there.”

He added: “The fiscal course we have taken has absorbed two exogenous shocks in the form of Covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and in both of these circumstances it is entirely appropriate to have a softer fiscal policy to guide our way. these upheavals.”

Thirsk and Malton Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake has warned ministers of the need to support investment in the north of England alongside a program of tax cuts.

He asked: “Can he confirm that as he seeks to balance the books in the future, because of course there will be higher deficits anyway in this announcement, he will not do so by cutting infrastructure investment in the North?”

Mr Kwarteng replied: “He is right that in the past we have tended to cut spending on capital projects, and we must not do so in the future if we are to meet our targets in terms of upgrading.”

Other Tory MPs were less reserved about the government’s plans, with South Dorset MP Richard Drax telling the Commons: “How good it is to finally hear about Conservative policy.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/tory-treasury-committee-chair-flags-vast-void-at-centre-of-statement-b1027702.html

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