Tax rises ahead

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Hammond hints at tax rises Philip Hammond has indicated there will be tax rises in the Budget to cover the £20bn spending boost pledged for the NHS. The chancellor said: “We may have to raise a little more tax in order to support the NHS and deliver on our pledge”. He also made clear that pension tax relief, which costs the Treasury £39bn a year, is likely to be cut as it is “eye wateringly expensive”. The comments prompted some of his fellow Conservative MPs to indicate that they would block a raid on pensions, but industry sources say the chancellor’s language looks “pretty ominous” for pension savers and that it is now a matter of “when and not if” the cuts come. Despite this, Mr Hammond stressed he was “a low-tax Tory” and said that if taxes have to go up, “it’s important that we do it in a way that minimises any negative impact on the economy, minimises the effect on people.”

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