Announcing tax cuts next week could help strengthen Mr Sunak’s standing with Tory MPs after some criticised his sacking of Suella Braverman as home secretary and his proposal for overcoming the Supreme Court’s blocking of Rwanda deportation flights.
It remains unclear how large any tax cuts announced will be, given the Budget next spring, which is closer to the next general election, is expected to deliver a greater tax giveaway. A general election needs to be held by January 2025 at the latest.
An inheritance tax cut next week would mean Labour is pressed to say whether it would match or reverse it, potentially creating the tax election dividing line the Tories are targeting.
Splits were emerging among Conservatives about the move on Friday.
Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, said an inheritance tax cut is “now overdue”.
However, Lord Clarke, the former chancellor, said it could trigger “the most appalling criticisms” if poorer people are not also supported financially.
Asked if now was the time to go for economic growth, Mr Hunt said: “Yes, absolutely. This is the moment. We’ve got to go for it as a country and I think we’ve got a big, big opportunity.”
Mr Hunt also insisted in the interview that he would stand as an MP at the next election, despite speculation he would quit given how tight the contest is expected to be as the Liberal Democrats target his seat.
He said: “I’m aware that it’s the fight of my life, but I’m up for that fight. And I’m very confident that I will be back in Parliament after the next election.”