Rishi Sunak has claimed handing over the economy to Keir Starmer would be “just as dangerous” as Liz Truss in charge.
Outlining how he planned to cut taxes in a “responsible” way, ahead of Wednesday's Autumn Statement, the prime minister claimed Sir Keir and Rachel Reeves wanted to continue the “big spend approach”, pointing to her green business plan opposition to the tune of £28bn.
In an extraordinary attack on his predecessor's policies, Mr Sunak then said Labour's approach to spending would put Britain at the same risk as Ms Truss, who was ousted after big tax cuts caused an economic meltdown.
“This makes the same economic mistake as last year's mini-budget – throwing tens of billions of pounds in unfunded spending is just as dangerous as throwing tens of billions of pounds in unfunded tax cuts,” Mr Sunak said.
It came as Mr Sunak hinted at business tax cuts to boost economic growth as he promised to reduce the tax burden “carefully and sustainably”.
While he declined to give any details ahead of the autumn statement, he stressed that the focus is “largely on the supply side” of the economy in a message that tax cuts for business are more likely than personal ones.
Mr Sunak said he was able to move on to the “next phase” of the government's economic plan after inflation fell to 4.6% in October. He said he was making “five long-term decisions” about the economy and public finances.
They will focus on reducing debt, reducing taxes, creating sustainable energy, supporting British business and providing world-class education.
In a speech at a London college, he said: “We will do this in a serious, responsible way, based on fiscal rules to provide sound money and alongside the independent forecasts of the Office for Budget Responsibility.
“And we can't do it all at once. It will take discipline and we have to prioritize. But over time, we can and will reduce taxes.”
He repeatedly refused to “prejudge” any decisions ahead of the budget but said: “We will prioritise, we will be disciplined and our focus is very much on the supply side and growing the economy.”
Although Mr Sunak has delivered on his own pledge to halve inflation by 2023, the CPI rate is still well above the Bank of England's 2% target.
The prospect of tax handouts comes ahead of a general election expected next year and with the Tories looking for a boost to overturn polls that have shown Labour's consistent lead.
Directly to voters, Mr Sunak said they could trust him on the economy as he showcased his track record “working and investing in businesses big and small”.
“Whether you like it or not, I hope you know that when it comes to the economy, to your job, your family, your income, I will always make the right decisions for our country,” he said. “So now you can trust me when I say we can start cutting taxes responsibly.”