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TBA’s latest news – 20th of November 2023

Charities Advocate for Increased Wealth Tax

According to The Guardian, Jeremy Hunter has been reminded that the climate crisis requires higher taxes on wealthy individuals and large corporate polluters. Nineteen leading charities and activists, including Greenpeace, Christian Aid, and Millionaires for the Motherland, issued a warning to Jeremy Hunter ahead of the Autumn Statement, stating that addressing the climate emergency requires higher taxes on wealth and large corporate polluters. They argue for swift reforms to the UK’s tax system to ensure fairness and efficiency, with the wealthy and heavy polluters paying their fair share.

Despite Hunter considering reducing inheritance tax to boost the Conservative Party’s popularity in polls, these charities, including Friends of the Earth, Women’s Budget Group, and Fuel Poverty Action, assert that tackling inequality requires higher wealth taxes to ensure a fair green transition for everyone.

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Hunter States: No Tax Cuts to Combat Inflation

As reported by The Guardian, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunter stated that he would not immediately cut income tax to avoid exacerbating inflation. Despite some Conservative Party members urging for tax cuts that households can quickly feel, Hunter emphasised the need to promote economic growth and indicated that tax cuts would not be an immediate solution.

While Hunter announced the prospect of cutting inheritance tax, which may spark controversy, especially in less affluent areas, the current situation suggests the Chancellor plans to announce cuts to business taxes and possibly income tax in the Spring Budget. Whether this is sufficient to appease opposition remains to be seen.

In an interview with Sky News, Hunter stated, “We will not take any form of tax cuts to avoid fuelling inflation. We have worked hard to reduce inflation, and we will not give up easily.”

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Autumn Statement: Advocating for a Stable Economy

The upcoming Autumn Statement by Hunter has attracted attention as the Chancellor takes a cautious approach. Reflecting on Trasquanton’s economic disasters, Hunter emphasised the importance of economic stability. He will discuss improving the situation of the unemployed, advancing the childcare revolution, and possibly announcing a one-time energy subsidy for low-income groups to alleviate anticipated rises in energy costs.

In terms of finances, Hunter may consider cutting inheritance tax, increasing subsidies for employer-provided private health insurance, and possibly announcing small-scale tax cuts as post-election gifts to ease the impact on government borrowing. However, economists express concerns about high-interest rates potentially constraining government plans.

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Blast Furnace Closure – Steel Industry at Risk

According to The Guardian, union leaders have informed Tata Steel that they must keep the blast furnace at the Port Talbot steelworks open until 2032 to avoid risking the future of the company’s steel operations in the UK. This effort is seen as a last-ditch attempt to prevent job losses.

Tata Steel originally planned to immediately close two blast furnaces, estimating the loss of 3,000 jobs. However, the company dramatically withdrew this decision at the last minute, providing an opportunity for union arguments.

Two major unions representing workers, Community and GMB, support proposals drafted by consulting firm Syndex. These proposals were submitted to Tata Steel on Friday in a non-public meeting. Syndex’s proposals aim to transition to electric arc furnaces in two stages to protect 2,000 jobs.

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£2 Billion Investment for the UK Automotive Industry

Chancellor Jeremy Hunter announced that the government will invest £2 billion in eight manufacturing sectors, including the automotive and green industries, to support critical sectors vital for the UK’s economic growth. This substantial investment will foster the development of the automotive sector, support electric vehicle manufacturers and their supply chains, aid innovation in the clean energy sector, drive research and development for zero-carbon aircraft equipment in aerospace, and support innovation and development in the life sciences sector.

The allocation of this funding, part of the upcoming “Advanced Manufacturing Plan,” includes £2 billion for the automotive industry, £960 million for the clean energy sector, £975 million for aerospace, and £520 million for life sciences. However, due to the tight fiscal situation, these funds will not be available to businesses until 2025.

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