THE UK Chancellor is considering a cut in National Insurance in the Budget, it has been reported, as experts warned he must spell out how any pre-election giveaways will be funded.

Jeremy Hunt is facing continued pressure from Conservatives to cut taxes next week in what is likely to be his final Budget before the next General Election, as the overall tax burden approaches record levels.

Other measures which he is said to be considering include launching a duty on vaping products, with the aim of costs being passed on to consumers with the hope that it would make the habit unaffordable for children.

The Chancellor is expected to make final decisions on his plans for the Budget on March 6 at the end of this week.

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However the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said he should resist announcing tax cuts unless he can show how he will pay for them.

The National:

The IFS warned that current post-election spending plans already meant further cuts to unprotected public services – such as local government and the court system – which reducing taxes would only exacerbate.

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Martin Miklos, research economist at the IFS, said: “In November’s autumn statement, the Chancellor ignored the impacts of higher inflation on public service budgets and instead used additional tax revenues to fund eye-catching tax cuts.

“At next week’s Budget, he might be tempted to try a similar trick, this time banking the higher revenues that come from a larger population while ignoring the additional pressures that a larger population will place on the NHS, local government and other services.

“He might even be tempted to cut back provisional spending plans for the next Parliament further to create additional space for tax cuts.

“The Chancellor should resist this temptation. Until the Government is willing to provide more detail on its spending plans in a spending review, it should refrain from providing detail on tax cuts.”