Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said he wants to stop the “vicious circle of ever-rising taxes” by reforming public services and the benefits system.

His comments come on the eve of the Conservative Party conference, as some Tories are set to call for tax cuts.

More than 30 MPs, including Liz Truss and Dame Priti Patel, have ruled out voting for any plans that result in higher overall taxes.

But Mr Hunt told the Times he could not talk about tax cuts in the short term.

On Friday, a leading economic research group said taxation levels were at their highest for 70 years, and were unlikely to come down.

Speaking to the newspaper ahead of the conference, which begins on Sunday in Manchester, Mr Hunt said: “We need a state that doesn’t just deliver the services it currently delivers, but actually improves the services it delivers and recognises that there’s going to be more calls on those services with an ageing population.

“But we need to find a formula that doesn’t mean that we’re on a vicious circle of ever-rising taxes.”

He pointed to the role of artificial intelligence and efforts to reduce the clerical workload of public sector staff as ways to increase efficiency in services.

Mr Hunt has already effectively ruled out tax cuts in the Autumn Statement, which is due in November, telling LBC radio earlier this month that it would be “virtually impossible”.

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