Rishi Sunak has given a stark warning that tax rises are in the pipeline as he desperately tries to reassure angry Tories that they will not turn into a 'horror show'.
The Chancellor revealed his tough message to MPs as he failed to cover up a sheaf of speaking notes while leaving Downing Street.
The text was seemingly for a meeting with Conservatives from 'Red Wall' seats that were snatched from Labour to win the election. The PM also addressed the gathering this afternoon, and is said to have given a grim assessment that the crisis had 'been tough' but was 'about to get tougher'. 'The waters are about to get choppier,' he said.
Underlining the scale of the challenge the government faces, the Bank of England warned this afternoon that the 'scarring' to the economy might be even worse than the permanent 1.5 per cent loss of GDP it previously predicted.
Governor Andrew Bailey and other senior figures also poured cold water on hopes of getting large numbers of people back in offices - considered crucial for reviving town and city centres.
There has been a wave of speculation about Mr Sunak moving to balance the books after they were ravaged by the pandemic.
Downing Street has been playing down rumours of a 5p increase in fuel duty, and increasing corporation tax in the financial package, due next month or in November.
The Treasury has also reportedly been drawing up plans to raise Class 4 NI contributions that are paid by the self-employed.
However, the opposition such steps would face was demonstrated today when Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey suggested taxes should be cut in the Budget, saying it could actually bring in more revenue for the government.
The notes caught on camera showed that Mr Sunak was planning to say: 'We will need to do some difficult things, but I promise you, if we (text unclear) overcome the short term challenges.
'Now this does’t mean a horror show of tax rises with no end in sight.
'But it does mean treating the British people with respect, being honest with them about the challenges we face, and showing them how we plan to correct out public finances and give our country the dynamic, low-tax economy we all want to see.
'This is what we will deliver for you.'
Rishi Sunak revealed his tough message to MPs as he failed to cover up a sheaf of speaking notes while leaving Downing Street (pictured)
Mr Sunak and Boris Johnson this afternoon addressed Conservatives from the 'Red Wall' of seats that were snatched from Labour to win the election
Boris Johnson today hinted that 'flexible' season tickets could be introduced soon to encourage workers to get back to offices.
The PM said the government and rail companies were cooperating 'at pace' to develop tickets that can be used a few times a week.
The news came as the government stepped up its efforts to get Britons to return to