The United Kingdom's Finance Minister Rishi Sunak reportedly said that he is looking at possible changes to rules which could allow him to spend more. Sunak is already under pressure to fund the fight against the deadly virus and meet election promises in this week's budget, however, he said that he wants to 'lower rates of tax' during his time in office. As per reports, the spread of coronavirus will also delay the announcement of full details of his plans for the new railways, roads and other infrastructure investment.
While speaking to an international media outlet, Sunak said that he was studying proposals to reclassify some government spending as an investment. He believes that such a change would give him more room for manoeuvre with spending on public services, including on health. However, he has declined to confirm that he would stick with the fiscal rules set by his predecessor Sajid Javid.
Although, the 39-year-old reportedly said that he was not to abandon the discipline of previous Conservative Party Finance Minister. Furthermore, while referring to the coronavirus outbreak, Sunak reportedly said that he will invest what it takes to get through it. He also feels that there is no need to extend the Brexit transition period, which is due to end on December 31, as he reportedly described coronavirus as a short-term challenge.
According to international media reports, Sunak might reclassify some public spending on health and education services as an investment which is subject to a less restrictive rule. He reportedly said that he was looking at objections to transaction taxes such as Britain's stamp duty which is applied to the purchase of properties. Furthermore, he is expected to relax a limit on day-to-day spending which was set by Javid before he quit last month.
Sunak is set to present his first budget on March 11 and reports suggest that the British-Indian Chancellor has also decided to scrap unpopular tax on women’s sanitary products. According to UK media reports, Sunak will abolish the five per cent VAT on sanitary products, also known as “tampon tax”, which will come into effect from January 2021.
The tax abolition on sanitary products was the part of manifesto pledges of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Sunak’s budget will be introduced at a time when Britain’s economy has been hit hard due to the coronavirus outbreak and the 39-year-old has a difficult job at hand.