Major blow for Jeremy Hunt as public do not back Tories on economy

Techne UK chief executive Michela Morizzo explains this week’s polls

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Jeremy Hunt does not have the confidence of the public, a new poll has shown, with just 39 percent of people saying they back the Chancellor on the economy in the wake of his budget. A poll, conducted by Techne UK for the Daily Express, asked voters who they trust on the economy, between Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt or Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves.

Just 39 percent of people backed the Mr Sunak and Mr Hunt, 19 percent said they don’t know, while 42 percent said they back Sir Keir and Ms Reeves.

Jeremy Hunt unveiled his spring Budget on Wednesday.

He said the UK will avoid a recession, with the British economy “proving the doubters wrong”.

Speaking ahead of the Budget on Tuesday, former home secretary Priti Patel warned “the Conservative party is nothing if it does not stand for low taxes and sound money”.

But an ERG source told the Daily Express that Mr Hunt’s budget will “limit Labour’s attack lines hugely”.

Mr Hunt used the budget to announce a further £5billion for the Ministry of Defence across the next two years, with £11billion being allocated over the course of 5 years.

Going beyond expectations, Mr Hunt revealed he is scrapping the lifetime allowance on pensions in a move which aims to remove disincentives to work for longer.

The lifetime allowance had stood at £1.07million, with people potentially incurring tax charges as high as 55 percent on pension savings above this.

And in an effort to remove barriers to work, Mr Hunt also unveiled a new package of childcare reforms, worth up to £4billion for parents across the UK.

The reforms include 30 hours of free childcare for kids under five. It will also see the Government hand out subsidies for childcare providers, as part of an incentive to encourage them to deliver free hours.

In his statement to the House of Commons, the Chancellor announced that regulation on staff-to-child ratios will be loosened, so one worker can look after five, rather than four children.

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The Chancellor announced new incentives to get unemployed Universal Credit claimants with no reason not to work will experience more rigorous sanctions if they refuse to take a viable job.

Children in care will also receive extra help when they reach adulthood.

The care relief threshold will be nearly doubled.

The Chancellor also used the Budget to slash the price of pints in British pubs, which he said has been achieved as a result of post-Brexit freedoms.

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