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Rishi Sunak under pressure to rein in 2023’s tax rises as the PM uses his New Year’s message to admit this was a ‘tough year’ for Britain

  • The PM said he would ‘not pretend that all our problems will go away’ in 2022
  • Retail spending fell in 2022 despite consumer spending rising by double digits
  • SNP Government planning to raise taxes for middle and high earners in Scotland

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Rishi Sunak has admitted it has been a ‘tough’ year for Britain amid growing calls for him to rein in next year’s planned tax rises south of the Border.

The Prime Minister used his New Year’s message to say he would not ‘pretend that all our problems will go away’ in 2023 and acknowledged that the future ‘will have its challenges’.

He said: ‘2022 was tough. Just as we recovered from an unprecedented global pandemic, Russia launched a barbaric and illegal invasion across Ukraine. This has had a profound economic impact around the world, which the UK is not immune to.’

Figures released yesterday showed retail spending fell in 2022 despite consumer spending as a whole rising by double digits, with a 12.2 per cent decline in online shopping highlighting the sector’s struggles.

Rishi Sunak, pictured, has admitted it has been a ‘tough’ year for Britain amid growing calls for him to rein in next year’s planned tax rises south of the Border

Rishi Sunak, pictured, has admitted it has been a ‘tough’ year for Britain amid growing calls for him to rein in next year’s planned tax rises south of the Border

Experts linked the fall in online spending to inflationary pressures squeezing household budgets, leading to calls for the Chancellor to avoid inflicting more pain on the taxpayer.

The SNP Government is planning to increase taxes for middle and high earners in Scotland next year.

Yesterday The Daily Mail highlighted how millions of families are already struggling with a growing mountain of personal debt.

Former Cabinet minister Sir John Redwood said: ‘The Prime Minister should pledge to fight recession. He should give more support to small businesses, wider ownership and self-employment with selective tax cuts and helpful rule changes – a pro-growth Budget that makes it more worthwhile to work and to run a business.’

Should pledge to fight recession 

He was joined last night by business leaders across the country calling for more support.

Andrew Goodacre, of the British Independent Retailers Association, said: ‘If nothing is done we will see closed businesses, job losses and people will lose their livelihoods through no fault of their own.

‘Addressing inflation and stimulating growth in the economy do not need to be mutually exclusive. One option could be to decrease the tax burden being placed on consumers, which will increase consumer confidence and result in increased expenditure without causing inflation.’

Tina McKenzie, from the Federation of Small Businesses, added: ‘Small retailers have been hit hard over the pandemic, and with their reserves wiped out they now face a toxic mix of soaring energy bills, high taxes, inflation and falling revenues.’

A Treasury spokesman said: ‘Our priority is to restore economic stability in the fairest way possible, which is why we have protected the most vulnerable and those with the broadest shoulders – from businesses to individuals – will bear more of the burden to strengthen public finances.’

Source: Daily Mail UK

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