The Chancellor of Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has been under increasing pressure from Tory MPs to cut taxes after the latest data from the Office National Statistics (ONS) showed UK public borrowing was lower than expected in July, helped by higher tax revenues.

Former Conservative ministers railed against the “pessimistic” UK fiscal watchdog, pointing out that borrowing in the first four months of this financial year is almost 20 per cent lower than it had forecast.

However, until rising inflation was under control, Hunt has proclaimed that tax cuts would be put on hold: “As inflation slows, it’s vital that we don’t alter our course and continue to act responsibly with the public finances,” he said.

Public sector net borrowing hit £4.3bn last month, £3.4bn more than in July 2022, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

However, the reading was well below the £6bn forecast in March by the Office for Budget Responsibility, and lower than the £5bn expected by economists polled by Reuters.

Hunt continued: “Only by sticking to our plan will we halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt.”

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