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Robert Palmer, executive director at Tax Justice UK, says Tory Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has delivered a ‘cut and run’ Budget which will spell more agony for public services

The Tory budget will spell more agony for public services(AFP via Getty Images)

The Chancellor stood up in the House of Commons and stated that those with the broadest shoulders should pay their fare share.

Yet he delivered a cut and run Budget, knowing his government is trailing in the polls with an election likely to take place later this year. The tax cuts delivered today will spell more agony for public services in the coming years. This is the opposite of what our country needs.

The cost of living crisis is not over but Jeremy Hunt didn’t offer up a serious plan to help people that need it most. We are crying out for sensible and well thought out investment. It’s desperately needed to provide a lifeline to the creaking healthcare system and local councils that are going bust.

Instead, the Chancellor offered up tax cuts that look like an obvious attempt to try and entice voters. Today, he cut a further 2p from National Insurance on top of cuts announced last year. But these tax cuts are poorly targeted and won’t provide enough help to those that need it most.

The average worker will only benefit by £8 per week, a paltry figure compared to the drastic rise in energy bills, food and essentials in the last couple of years. The last time national insurance was cut, polling shows only a tiny minority felt like it made a difference to their own finances.

The wealthiest households will benefit disproportionately from cutting National Insurance. According to economists, the richest 20% of households will get 12 times more than the poorest 20%. The regional inequity is stark , with those in London and the south-east benefiting the most.

For an average of £8 extra a week today, the country will be served up public spending cuts in years to come. Despite some departments having protected budgets, others will have their spending slashed.

The future will look like less money for local government, stripped back fire and rescue services, and eroded access to legal aid and justice through the courts. Simply put, further cuts will make the UK less safe and less fair.

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