Chancellor’s Spring Statement urged to help households and businesses as inflation hits 30-year-high

By Lisa James
23/03/2022
Home » Chancellor’s Spring Statement urged to help households and businesses as inflation hits 30-year-high

Rishi Sunak is under pressure to ease the burden on families and businesses in today’s Spring Statement as the latest statistics show inflation rose to its highest rate in 30 years.

The Consumer Price Index in February rose to 6.2%, higher than economists predicted, and the Chancellor is expected to outline in today’s ‘mini budget’ how he will support households and companies.

Mr Sunak has been urged to row back on his planned increase in National Insurance contributions, with one former Cabinet minister telling Sky News it would be ‘suicidal’ given rising inflation and soaring living costs.

The inflation rise is larger than expected by economists, who had predicted a rate of 5.9%, and the Bank of England warns it could go higher.

Meanwhile, the Retail Price Index hit 8.2% – its highest in 31 years.

It’s believed Mr Sunak may raise the income threshold at which people pay National Insurance, rather than scrap the rise altogether, to help ease financial pressures on households.

He’s also expected to cut fuel duty by 5p per litre.

VAT is due to increase from 12.5% to 20% but the Chancellor is also being urged to halt the rise.

Advantage Travel Partnership Chief Executive Julia Lo Bue-Said tweeted on Tuesday evening to say the Spring Budget was ‘a reminder that business owners need support to help trade out into recovery [with] mounting costs, debts, lifelong savings gone’.

She later tweeted: “With inflation at its highest for 30 years business support remains critical. For sectors such as outbound travel, it’s a double whammy as in destination COVID restrictions still apply.”

The Chancellor will begin his Spring Statement at 12.30pm today.

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