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Jeremy Hunt considers inheritance tax and stamp duty cuts ahead of Autumn Statement | Personal Finance | Finance

Jeremy Hunt is considering bringing forward plans to cut inheritance tax (IHT) and stamp duty in the Autumn Statement on November 22, according to Treasury insiders.

The chancellor had been expected to wait until the spring budget in March to introduce tax cuts, however, with better-than-expected figures on public finances, the plans could be brought forward.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), unveiled that the headroom in public finances had grown to between £13 billion and £15 billion.

He previously ruled out tax cuts, but he has been urged to reconsider amid fears that any delays could cause the fiscal headroom could disappear.

The move would allow the Prime Minister to regain votes for his party and could stimulate growth following last week’s figures showing the UK economy is stagnating.

Mr Sunak’s party seeks to go into 2024 on leading the general elective race.

The Conservatives are currently trailling Labour by almost 20 points in opinion polls.

The cut to stamp duty could push forward the housing market which is slower than usual after the pandemic.

However critics say this will only worsen the housing shortages that the UK has experienced in recent decades.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak made halving inflation by the end of the year one of the five key ambitions for his leadership, and Jeremy Hunt has signalled this target will be prioritised over tax cuts.

Mr Hunt said last week that he was ruling out “any tax cut that is going to fuel inflation” as he aims to bring it down to two percent by the end of the year.

However, cutting inheritance tax and stamp duty would be less inflationary than slashing income tax or national insurance.

A Treasury insider confirmed they were being considered as options.

The Chancellor said during his conference speech in October that there can be ‘no short cuts’ towards bringing taxes down ahead of growing calls for tax cuts to be announced now ahead of a general election.

Jeremy Hunt told an audience at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester: “If we are prepared to walk this difficult path it is possible to bring down taxes.

“But we can’t say when it will be possible.”

He previously ruled out tax cuts this year, and was unable to answer about next year, saying: “I don’t have a crystal ball. But if you’re asking me do I want to bring down the tax burden, the answer is absolutely yes”.

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