The Conservative Party has been mocked for creditting Rishi Sunak with bringing down inflation after the prime minister hit his “target”.
The prime minister is eyeing tax cuts after the Office for National Statistics announced last week that the rate of inflation plummeted to 4.6% in October, its lowest level in two years.
When Sunak made his promise to halve it at the start of this year, it stood at 10.7%.
However, the inflation rate is still more than double the Bank of England target of 2%.
There was always something artificial about the pledge – one of five Sunak set out at the start of his premiership. It was global forces driving inflation in the first place, specifically the world emerging from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its sharp fall has been ascribed to tumbling global energy prices.
Even domestically, it is the Bank of England’s power to hike interest rates that is the major tool in curbing inflation, and the central bank has been independent of government control since the late-1990s.
But none of this hasn’t stopped the Conservative Party from attempting to grab some valour for its leader.
On the party’s official X account, it wrote: “We were told it wasn’t possible to halve inflation. But Rishi Sunak did it. Now we can cut taxes. Conservatives will always ensure hard work pays.”
Claims that it “wasn’t possible” and Sunak “did it” were soon rubbished.
This week chancellor Jeremy Hunt will set out government tax and spending plans ahead of next year’s general election.
In a speech on Monday morning in London, the prime minister said the government would now “turn our attention to cutting taxes”.
It has been variously reported Hunt could cut inheritance tax, income taxes or national insurance.