MANCHESTER, England - British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday he "would love" to lower taxes in the run-up to a national election expected next year, but added that any tax cut at the moment would be inflationary.
"Obviously, in the run up to an election, I would love to do a tax cut that ordinary people felt," Hunt said at the annual conference of the governing Conservative Party in Manchester. "At the moment, we're not in a position to have that discussion ... because any tax cut would be inflationary.
Britain had the highest annual rate of consumer price inflation among major advanced economies at 6.7% in August.
"It would be absolutely crazy to give people money with a tax cut in one hand and then for them to see all that money taken away by inflation going back up," Hunt said.
"It's also because our debt interest payments have gone up so much in the last six months that I think it's incredibly unlikely we'd have anything room to do anything like that."
Britain's government accrued 102 billion pounds ($123 billion) of interest payable on debt during the year to August 2023, official statistics show - much of it generated by inflation-linked government bonds.
($1 = 0.8290 pounds)
(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Andy Bruce, Writing by Sachin Ravikumar; editing by Sarah Young)