JEREMY Hunt left Britain with its biggest tax burden since World War Two yesterday as millions of workers were hit by his £24.7billion stealth raid.
The overall tax take will hit £1trillion by the end of this year as the Chancellor made the pips squeak.
But he delayed £30billion of painful spending cuts until after the next election — with a surprise increase in the NHS and education budgets.
With the OBR fiscal watchdog now warning the country is officially in recession, the Chancellor increased spending by an extra £9billion until 2025.
While protecting pensioners, benefit claimants and the lowest paid from inflation, the Autumn Statement left almost everyone else picking up the tab.
Businesses have been hammered by an extra £5billion National Insurance hit on employer contributions each year, with energy giants facing a beefed-up Windfall Tax of 35 per cent.
The biggest losers were the well-off who will pay more tax and face a raid on profits from shares — but the wallets of millions of hard-working people will also be hammered.
The Treasury’s analysis of Mr Hunt’s update showed 55 per cent of households would be worse off.
By freezing the Income Tax thresholds for six years, 3.2million will pay it for the first time by 2028.
Experts said an average salary worker on £33,000 would pay an extra £2,500 income tax by the back door by 2028, with higher-rate earners hit for £6,500.
Plans set out by Rishi Sunak earlier this year to slash the basic rate of tax were jettisoned.
Mr Hunt targeted the well-off by cutting the 45p rate threshold from £150,000 to £125,140.
Tory MPs were nervous as the UK could be seen as less competitive than France, Germany or the US, with only Italy hitting the better-off harder.
Further pain will come as 95 per cent of Town Halls are also expected to take advantage of relaxed rules to let them raise council tax by five per cent to pay for higher social care costs.
Last night, the OBR warned: “The tax burden now peaks at 37.5 per cent of GDP in 2024-25, which would be its highest level since the end of the Second World War.”
Hospitals will receive an extra £3.3billion in each of the next two years to help offset inflation.
Schools in England will get an extra 2.3billion.
But there was nothing extra for defence or policing — risking major Cabinet rows
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves compared Mr Hunt to a cunning street thief.
She said: “I must report that in the last hour the Conservatives have picked the pockets, purses and wallets of the entire country…”
At a glance guide
Tax bands frozen
MILLIONS more will be dragged into higher rates of income and National Insurance taxes after the freeze on thresholds — currently in place until 2025-26 — was extended until 2028.
Triple lock and benefits up
PENSIONERS and Brits on Universal Credit will have their payouts boosted by 10.1 per cent in line with inflation. That’s £203.85 a week (currently £185.15) for the full, new flat-rate state pension.
Energy price cap lifted
AVERAGE energy price cap will be capped at £3,000 for 12 months from April. An extra £900 cost of living payment will go to those on benefits, £300 for pensioners and £150 for disabled.
Child benefit freeze
MORE will be dragged into the high- income child benefit exemption as wages rise but the threshold stays the same. If one earner in a family gets £50,000 or more they will get the cash docked.
The 45p tax rate
MORE higher earners will be taken into the top additional rate of tax. The £150,000 threshold will be reduced to £125,140 from April onwards, whacking an extra 232,000 people with the 45p rate.
Schools and hospitals
EXTRA £3.3billion funding will go to the NHS and £2.3billion extra for the schools budgets — but every other department faces real-terms cuts as their budgets will be hit by soaring inflation.
Future of fuel duty
NO change to fuel duty has been revealed yet. But the small print of forecasts reveals that if the 5p cut ends as planned it will whack 12p per litre on fuel from next year.
Council tax whack
TOWN hall chiefs will be allowed to raise council tax by up to five per cent without winning backing in a referendum. It is expected that 95 per cent of councils will whack up their levies.
Windfall tax on oil giants
TAXES on oil and gas giants will be extended to 35 per cent for another two years in a £14billion raid, which will also apply to electricity generators. Meanwhile, electric cars will attract road tax.
Living wage goes up
TWO million of the lowest-paid people over the age of 23 will have their wages lifted to at least £10.42 an hour, thanks to a 9.7 per cent increase. The rise is equivalent to £1,600 a year.
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