UK's Hunt hikes taxes, tightens spending in budget

STORY: Hunt told parliament that the economy was already in recession and was forecast to shrink next year but there was no way to avoid painful fiscal medicine to ensure Britain could build on the recent restoration of calm in financial markets.

"Credibility cannot be taken for granted and yesterday’s inflation figures show we must continue a relentless fight to bring it down, including an important commitment to rebuild the public finances," he said.

Hunt announced changes to tax rules that will mean more people pay basic income tax, a lower threshold for paying the top rate of income tax, and a cut in tax-free allowances for earnings from dividends.

He froze until 2028 a threshold at which employers must start to pay social security contributions, meaning companies will have to pay more.

A levy on the profits of energy companies would be increased to 35% from 25% from Jan. 1 until 2028, and a new temporary 45% tax would be imposed on electricity generators, to raise a total of 14 billion pounds next year, Hunt said.

Britain's economy has come under strain from an inflation rate now above 11%, a slowing global economy and a bout of severe financial market volatility during Truss's brief term as prime minister.