Chancellor George Osborne under pressure to cut taxes

Once upon a time George Osborne would have been delighted to have come under so much pressure to cut taxes.

The Tory right - now with the former defence secretary, Liam Fox, leading the way - are calling on the chancellor to cut business taxes.

The Lib Dems are demanding both privately and publicly that he cuts income tax for lower and middle earners.

Labour say a temporary VAT cut is needed to stimulate growth.

The popular press is calling for fuel duty to be frozen again.

The chancellor's aides reply simply that there isn't any money. Besides, they have their own concerns - how to lessen the impact of a spending cut already announced but yet to be implemented.

The scrapping of child benefit for those on upper rate income tax looks certain to be very unpopular with those far from rich but just well paid enough to pay higher rate tax - particularly single earner - households.

In times of plenty a little cash might be found for all.

In times of austerity, and with ministers determined not to change their economic course, George Osborne will have to choose.

The more taxes he wants to cut or freeze... the more he'll first have to raise in higher taxes from the better off which is why higher council tax bands, stamp duty loopholes and pension tax relief for the wealthy are all being examined.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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