Truss could cut personal taxes in ‘investment zones’ as part of economic plans

Liz Truss plans to cut personal taxes on top of levies on businesses in new “investment zones” as she seeks to get the wheels of her economic strategy into gear.

Those living and working in the low-tax areas being considered by the Prime Minister could see their own contributions reduced, with the burden also eased for businesses – although no decision has been made yet, it is heard.

The proposed ‘investment zones’, dubbed ‘full freeports’, were a staple of Ms Truss’s campaign for the Tory leadership.

Under her plan, Ms Truss said these areas would benefit from a low tax burden, reduced planning restrictions and regulations tailored on a case-by-case basis.

On Sunday, The Sun reported that the new Prime Minister is now considering whether personal taxes could be reduced for people who work there.

With speculation over what direction politics will take when politics return to normal, it has also been suggested that Ms Truss could lift the ban on new high schools within months.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Senior Tory MP Sir Graham Brady plans to table an amendment to the Schools Bill in a bid to bring about change – and believes the political conditions are promising, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

It comes as politics are set to come back strong after the Queen’s funeral, with ministers outlining support for businesses and planning to see the NHS through the winter, before the Chancellor’s mini budget ends the week.

Normal activity in Westminster has been suspended since the monarch’s death, with business in both houses halted during the official period of mourning.

MPs are expected to return to the Commons on Wednesday, after Monday’s state funeral, where those who wish can take a new oath or affirmation to the king.

The PA news agency understands that Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg will also present further details of the Government’s plans to help businesses through the energy crisis.

Health Secretary and Deputy First Minister Therese Coffey is due to outline her vision on Thursday for seeing the NHS through the winter months.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Newly installed Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s highly anticipated mini-budget will then be delivered on Friday.

Meanwhile, a former chief scientific adviser to the government has warned that the prime minister’s drive to boost oil and gas production is “completely at odds” with the country’s net zero targets.

Last week, Ms Truss announced her proposals to tackle sky-high energy bills and ease the cost of living crisis, with a focus on capping prices and increasing domestic supply.

This included lifting the fracking ban and new licenses for North Sea oil and gas.

Ms Truss said she would “end the UK’s short-term approach to energy security and supply once and for all”.

But Sir David King, who was the UK’s chief scientist from 2000 to 2007, told The Independent: “We are looking at a situation where the crisis is with us here today.

“But we don’t recognize that when we say ‘let’s go and start new fracking operations in this country.’

“This is beyond comprehension. What this seems to show is that government leaders do not understand the nature of the climate crisis.

The window of opportunity for Mr Kwarteng’s so-called ‘fiscal event’ has been severely limited, with politics halted after the Queen’s death and the Prime Minister due to fly to New York for the General Assembly of United Nations after Monday’s funeral.

MPs were due to take a break for conference season on Thursday, but will now be asked to sit an extra day to save time for the mini-budget on Friday.

A parliamentary business document also suggests that MPs will consider a motion on Thursday proposing that the House of Commons return early from the conference break on October 11.

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