Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brown Signals Tax Cuts to Help the Hardest Hit; Fat Cat Protest: Anti-Poverty Demonstrators outside Mansion House Ahead of the Prime Minister's Annual Speech to the City Tonight, Where He Will Advocate Targeted Tax Cuts

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Brown Signals Tax Cuts to Help the Hardest Hit; Fat Cat Protest: Anti-Poverty Demonstrators outside Mansion House Ahead of the Prime Minister's Annual Speech to the City Tonight, Where He Will Advocate Targeted Tax Cuts

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH

GORDON BROWN today gave the strongest hint yet that he will unveil emergency tax cuts to help families cope with the recession.

When asked if he was considering tax relief moves, Mr Brown said he would "make announcements very soon".

Buoyed by his success in the Glenrothes by-election, Mr Brown is determined to use this month's pre-Budget report to outflank the Tories by offering tax cuts funded by extra borrowing.

But the Tories due to announce their tax-cut plans tomorrow say they oppose any borrowing plans, preferring instead for the funding to come from savings in government spending. Mr Brown fuelled expectation of a tax cut last week by saying there was an "emerging consensus" on the need to revive the economy. Today he told GMTV: "We will make announcements very soon. Of course we will look at everything, but that's a matter for the Budget and pre- Budget report".

Mr Brown stressed that he had already cut income tax and families were getting an extra [pounds sterling]120 in their pay packets this month and next. The Prime Minister added: "What I am determined to do is to get all countries around the world trying to get their economies moving again and one way you can do that is by putting more money into the economy by tax cuts or by public spending rises.

That's something that we've got to look at in the next few weeks." In a Mansion House speech tonight Mr Brown is set to underline his belief that countries around the world could fight recession by using "fiscal stimulus" packages of fast-tracked public works and targeted tax cuts.

Chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to announce measures to help families in the pre-Budget report, but Downing Street and the Treasury were keen to play down speculation that taxes could be slashed by [pounds sterling]15 billion.

The Treasury is working on a string of options, including possible rises in working tax credits a move that would help Labour reach child poverty targets. …

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