UK unveils anti-inflation budget

LONDON (AFP) — The United Kingdom’s new government on Friday unveils multi-billion-pound measures aimed at supporting households and businesses hit by the highest inflation in decades.

Finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng, fresh from being appointed by new Prime Minister Liz Truss, will deliver a budget package at 0830 GMT.

Kwarteng on Thursday said he would scrap a tax on salaries recently implemented by his predecessor Rishi Sunak — and will reveal the cost of the new government’s plan to cap energy bills for households and business.

Kwarteng is similarly expected to scrap a plan to increase tax on company profits that was signed off by Truss’s predecessor Boris Johnson.

The finance minister could also axe a bankers’ bonus cap in place since 2014 and a legacy of European Union membership, according to reports.

While the tax reversals are not strictly cuts, the government could announce Friday reduced levies on home purchases.

Barclays bank estimates the cost of the government’s total package could hit £235 billion ($267 billion), far more than its jobs protection scheme during the pandemic.

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