MILLIONS of Brits were ready for tax breaks today as Rishi Sunak unveils a mini budget to cushion the onslaught of the cost of living.
The chancellor is ready to cut the fuel tax by 5p and also protect many low-wage workers from the impending National Insurance hike next month.
He is also preparing to use the attractive prospect of lower income taxes in the future so that workers can pocket more of their money.
Amid devastating increases in energy, fuel and food prices, the chancellor got back on his feet as he delivered his spring statement to parliament.
A better-than-expected financial situation gives Mr. Sunak the opportunity to once again throw a lifeline to families who are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.
But he refused to squander the entire £20bn windfall and said he would have to clean up the treasury post-pandemic.
In the key declarations of the Spring Statement:
- Drivers are on the cusp of paying less for petrol as the fuel duty is finally cut
- Workers likely to benefit from changes in National Insurance contributions
- The price of a pack of cigarettes will not increase, the duty on tobacco products will not change
- Drinks will also remain at the same price after the duty on alcohol remains intact.
Mr Sunak has ignored a legion of calls to back down from a 1.25 percentage point increase in the NIC that would send median earnings up to £252 a year.
Instead, he raised the NIC threshold from £9,000 to £12,000, allowing workers to keep more of their money and disproportionately helping those earning less.
Drivers were also given a welcome break at gas stations as the 57.95p fuel surcharge was cut by 5p for the first time in a decade.
With a major win for The Sun Keep It Down’s 12-year campaign, motorists will save around £3.30 each time they fill up their cars.
Sunak was left with no choice but to help offset skyrocketing oil and gas prices caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
The figures show that the average cost of a liter of gasoline today was a record 167.3 pence, and diesel – 179.7 pence.
Mad Vlad’s invasion also spurred prices on the domestic market as inflation soared to a 30-year high of 6.2% today.
Mr. Sunak told MPs: “Mr. Speaker, as I stand here, men, women and children huddle in basements all over Ukraine seeking protection. Soldiers and citizens alike took up arms to defend their land and families.
“The sorrow we feel for their suffering and admiration for their bravery is only matched by the gratitude we feel for the security we live in.
“And at the heart of that security is the strength of our economy.”
After promising to protect families, Mr Sunak told the House of Commons: “So when I talk about security, yes, I mean the reaction to the war in Ukraine,” he told the House of Commons.
“But I also mean the security of a faster growing economy, the security of more resilient public finances, and the security of working families as we help pay for living.”
The chancellor has already announced a £200 loan to pay for gas and electricity from October, but only after the price ceiling jumps by 54%.
Select households will also receive a £150 council tax rebate in April.
The Treasury said the measures announced so far add up to around £21bn of support this year, after taking into account the rebate and changes to Universal Credit.
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