Budget 2024 – live: Chancellor Jeremy Hunt set to unveil ‘permanent’ tax cuts in bid to win over voters

Jeremy Hunt has vowed to unveil “permanent” tax cuts in today’s Budget, as a result of “the progress we’ve made” in delivering on Rishi Sunak’s economic priorities.

With the Tories’ popularity languishing at a 45-year low, the chancellor is widely expected to hand voters another 2p cut to national insurance contributions, in a repeat of his autumn statement – a package he says will keep a further £450 in worker’s pockets.

But leading pollster Professor Sir John Curtice told The Independent that he would be “surprised” if the move, expected to be announced by Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday, improved the Tories standing in the polls.

“Most evidence says, faced with a choice between trying to do something about public services and reducing taxation, the public services are a bigger priority because most people think public services including the NHS are in a pretty awful state,” he added.

And experts warned there are “huge questions” about whether Britain can really afford tax cuts which “will benefit those who already have the most” and are anticipated to cost the Treasury some £20bn.

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