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Jeremy Hunt says next two years will be ‘challenging’

Welcome to the politics blog. Jeremy Hunt has been doing the morning media round to defend his autumn statement and has warned that the next two years will be challenging.

The chancellor appeared on Sky News the day after announcing that millions more people will pay more in tax and spending cuts of £30bn.

The chancellor said his plans will help get the economy “on an even keel”, but added: “Over the next two years it is going to be challenging.

“But I think people want a government that is taking difficult decisions, has a plan that will bring down inflation, stop those big rises in the cost of energy bills and the weekly shop, and at the same time is taking measures to get through this difficult period.”

We’ll bring you the latest news and reactions on the autumn statement. Here’s what’s coming up today:

9am: The Resolution Foundation will publish its take on Hunt’s measures.

10.30am: The Institute for Fiscal Studies will present its findings.

1pm: The Institute for Government has an autumn statement event, which will be attended by the OBR’s Richard Hughes.

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Resolution Foundation: UK workers will miss out on pay rises worth £15,000

Mark Sweney

Mark Sweney

Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement will mean Britain’s workers will miss out on pay rises worth £15,000 over the next five years as the chancellor’s tax-heavy budget pressures the nation’s “squeezed middle”.

Figures published alongside the Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement on Thursday by the Office for Budget Responsibility said the UK was in a recession that would wipe out eight years of growth, with British households set to face the biggest fall in living standards since records began.

The Resolution Foundation thinktank said on Friday that the dire economic outlook means that real wages are now not expected to return to 2008 levels until 2027.

If pay had continued to grow at the pre-crisis peak, workers would be £292 a week, or £15,000 annually, better off over the next five years.

You can read the full story here:

Jonathan Yerushalmy

Jonathan Yerushalmy

Reactions to Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement dominate UK front pages on Friday – and my colleague Jonathan Yerushalmy has done a round-up.

The Guardian’s goes with “From bad to worse” and reports that the chancellor’s £30bn of delayed spending cuts and £25bn of backdated tax increases “laid bare the country’s dire economic predicament”.

The i splashes with “UK’s lost decade”, and what the paper calls the “biggest drop in living standards on record … sending British earnings back to 2013”.

Its report says the country is paying the price for “Putin’s war in Ukraine, the pandemic, Brexit policies and Liz Truss’s damage to market confidence”.

Usually reliably sympathetic to the Tory party, the Daily Mail turns its ire on Hunt’s budget with the headline “Tories soak the strivers”.

The paper’s political editor reports that the overall tax burden will be pushed to its “highest level since the second world war”, with “with highest earners hardest hit”.

The verdict of the paper’s star columnist, Sarah Vine, is carried on the front page: “And there was me thinking we’d voted in the Conservatives!”

The Telegraph too is blunt in its assessment, quoting an economist in its headline: “‘The rhetoric of Osborne… with the policies of Brown’”.

The paper’s main story says that Britain’s welfare bill is to rise by almost “£90bn after Jeremy Hunt shielded benefit claimants and pensioners from soaring inflation with a raid on workers”.

Tory peer and former Brexit negotiator David Frost writes in a front page opinion piece that “The ship has been steadied – but we’re all left with less money of our own.”

The Mirror’s headline simply reads “Carnage”. The paper quotes shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves as saying that “all the country got today was an invoice for the economic carnage that the government has created.”

Tomorrow’s Paper Today:
💥CARNAGE
🔴Millions to feel deep pain after Tory hell Budget
🔴Energy bills & joblessness rise, house prices fall
🔴Drop in living standards is the worst since 1956
🔴Hunt and Sunak hail moves and shirk any blame#TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/UoQ2RWmC3c

— The Mirror (@DailyMirror) November 17, 2022

The Times writes that as the chancellor seeks to balance the books, there will be “Years of tax pain ahead”.

The Financial Times carries a similar headline with “Hunt paves way for years of pain,” quoting the chancellor as saying “We need to give the world confidence in our ability to pay our debts”.

Scotland’s Daily Record harks back to another era of Tory rule with the headline “You’ve never had it so bad”, as does Metro.

The Record says that after 12 years of Conservative rule the UK faces its “biggest-ever clump in living standards” as well as a “surge in unemployment and a year-long recession”.

The Express is able to find some good new in it all however. Splashed on to a full page image of Hunt, the paper claims “Victory” in its campaign to secure a 10.1% increase in the state pension, saying it will “help millions cope with the cost-of-living crisis”.

Jeremy Hunt says next two years will be ‘challenging’

Welcome to the politics blog. Jeremy Hunt has been doing the morning media round to defend his autumn statement and has warned that the next two years will be challenging.

The chancellor appeared on Sky News the day after announcing that millions more people will pay more in tax and spending cuts of £30bn.

The chancellor said his plans will help get the economy “on an even keel”, but added: “Over the next two years it is going to be challenging.

“But I think people want a government that is taking difficult decisions, has a plan that will bring down inflation, stop those big rises in the cost of energy bills and the weekly shop, and at the same time is taking measures to get through this difficult period.”

We’ll bring you the latest news and reactions on the autumn statement. Here’s what’s coming up today:

9am: The Resolution Foundation will publish its take on Hunt’s measures.

10.30am: The Institute for Fiscal Studies will present its findings.

1pm: The Institute for Government has an autumn statement event, which will be attended by the OBR’s Richard Hughes.





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