Sunak budget may be ‘unpalatable’ says Roger Gale

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Sir Roger Gale has warned the autumn budget will be “unpalatable” and many will not consider the policies to be “particularly Conservative.” The budget will be announced on November 17 as an “upgraded” version of the delayed fiscal statement that was due to be released at the end of October. The Chancellor has indicated the new budget will focus on “restoring confidence” in the UK economy, although Sir Roger indicated the reality of the fiscal policy would be “extremely tough”.

Discussing the upcoming budget, Sir Roger told Sky News: “Next week, we are going to face an extremely tough autumn statement, there is no doubt about that.

“It’s going to be unpalatable. It is probably going to have to cut spending, it’s probably going to have to raise taxes.  

“It won’t be what some people regard as particularly Conservative. 

“[The Prime Minister] has to live with that and work with it, and work with his Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

As the budget announcement draws closer, the Prime Minister has travelled to Egypt to attend the COP27 summit in Sharm El Sheikh.

Initial statements from Number Ten reported Rishi Sunak would miss the UN Conference to focus on pressing domestic commitments, namely the autumn budget, although this decision was later reversed.

Sir Roger asserted: “Rishi Sunak has the public interest at heart. He believes that he is the person who can take a very difficult situation and turn it around.”

He added that the Prime Minister was focused “entirely” on ensuring his government’s economic policy would prove effective.

Read more: Half of Britons fear not having enough money to pay bills

The autumn budget will follow in the wake of Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous mini-budget which sparked chaos in the markets.

While Mr Kwarteng was Chancellor, The Bank of England was forced to intervene to prevent a collapse of pension funds as investors panicked.

Under Rishi Sunak, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has indicated he will ensure the new economic approach “stands the test of time”.

The Chancellor added that his top priority with the upcoming budget was to secure “economic stability” and enforce the image of the UK as “a country that pays its way”.

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Tory MPs have remained tight-lipped over the exact contents of the upcoming budget, although there is speculation the announcement is likely to include tax hikes and spending cuts.

The previous mini-budget had initially pledged to cut the basic rate of income tax and scrap the top band for the highest earner entirely. Jeremy Hunt has indicated he will not pursue either tax cut in the autumn release.

Spending cuts are anticipated across public sectors, which would likely fuel existing turbulence as several unions are threatening strike action over pay disputes.

Treasury sources have reported the government has been tasked with filling a £60 billion financial “black hole” .

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