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All eyes are on Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, as the Spring Budget approaches on Wednesday.

Tax cuts appear all but certain, following pressure from Conservative MPs concerned with the historic heights of current tax revenues. Among the measures, Hunt is considering further cuts to national insurance, already reduced from 12% to 10% in last year’s Autumn Statement. Speaking to the BBC, Hunt stated that he wanted to “show a path” towards a lower-tax economy, despite stressing that he would only do so in a “responsible” manner. Reacting to the news of the presumed tax cuts, the Labour Party claimed that individuals would be worse off, affirming that it was unavoidable “thanks to 14 years of Tory failure”. 

The Chancellor faces questions surrounding the impact of tax cuts, after analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) shows a widening gap between the relief provided by the cuts versus the reality of millions of people facing the difficulties of the cost-of-living crisis. This is backed by further research from the New Economics Foundation, which highlights that if Hunt proceeds with the national insurance cuts, the richest households will benefit 12 times more than the poorest in cash terms. Despite these doubts, it is clear the Conservative Party believes tax cuts may be their last chance to win over voters ahead of the fast-approaching General Election.

Almost two years after ministers first announced the plan to send some migrants to Rwanda, the Rwanda Bill faces contentious votes in the House of Lords this afternoon and again on Wednesday. Among the amendments expected to be voted on include many which challenge the Government’s assessment that Rwanda is a safe country. Lord Anderson, the Government’s former reviewer of terrorism legislation, told the BBC that Parliament was being expected to “pass into law a politically convenient fiction which has been exposed as such by the Supreme Court... that Rwanda is a safe place for asylum seekers”. Conversely, ex-leader of the Conservative Party Lord Howard is looking to defend the Bill, claiming that the Supreme Court was “not accountable to anyone” and that the Government is responsible on deciding if Rwanda is safe or not. With the first flights to Rwanda scheduled for spring, the question remains – will the Government be able to get the Bill passed in time?

Last week’s by-election in Rochdale saw victory for the Workers Party of Britain candidate, George Galloway, who won with close to a 6,000 majority. Once a Labour MP, Galloway triumphed to victory after leading a campaign in which the conflict in the Middle East was a key and running theme. Following the surprising win, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer apologised to the people of Rochdale after he withdrew support for the Labour candidate Azhar Ali over his allegedly antisemitic remarks. The conflict in the Middle East remains a massively disruptive topic for UK politics, upending by-elections and parliamentary procedure, so both major parties will be watching carefully to see how public mood shifts amidst an already heated political landscape.