London: UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has unveiled the biggest package of tax cuts in 50 years, as he hailed a “new era” for the UK economy, media reports said.
Income tax and stamp duty on home purchases will be cut, while planned rises in business taxes have been scrapped, BBC reported.
Kwarteng said a major change of direction was needed to kick start economic growth.
But the Labour party said it would not solve the cost-of-living crisis and was a “plan to reward the already wealthy”.
It came at a time when the Bank of England is warning that the UK may already be in recession.
The pound sank to a fresh 37-year low as the chancellor made his statement, BBC reported.
In a departure from Boris Johnson’s economic policies, Kwarteng has scrapped plans to push up taxes to pay for public services, with the aim of boosting economic growth.
In a Commons statement, being dubbed a mini-budget, he said high tax rates “damage Britain’s competitiveness”, reducing the incentive to work and for businesses to invest.
He also unveiled a cut to the top rate of income tax from 45 per cent to 40 per cent, meaning the UK will have a single higher rate from April, BBC reported.
Facing accusations of a “class war” mini-budget that rewarded the rich more than those on lower incomes, Kwarteng said his efforts to boost growth and energise the economy included helping all households after he brought forward a planned 1p cut in the basic rate of income tax from 2024 to next year, The Guardian reported.