EVERYBODY should be “profoundly concerned” at the Chancellor’s warning that even the poorest will be hit by tax rises in this week’s autumn statement, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

The First Minister also said Jeremy Hunt's intention to slash public spending on Thursday would cause “significant problems” after Covid and years of austerity.

Mr Hunt said on Sunday that the Government would ask the whole country to make “sacrifices” to help shore up the public finances.

“We are going to see everyone paying more tax. We're going to see spending cuts,” he said, although he said there was a limit to what could be asked of the lowest paid.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said “everyone” paying more tax implied a rise in VAT, but changes to income tax and national insurance are also possible.

Mr Hunt is planning to cut public spending by around £35billion and raise taxes by £20billion.

The money raising measures include freezing the thresholds at which people pay higher rates of income tax, meaning more people will pay extra as their wages increase.

The threshold for the top rate is expected to be cut from £150,000 to £125,000.

Speaking on a visit to a school in Glasgow today, Ms Sturgeon said the hints from the Chancellor “should make everybody profoundly concerned”.

She said: “He’s talking about everybody having to pay more taxes, at a time when those at the lowest end of the income spectrum are already really struggling, if those tax increases fall there that is of profound concern.”

The FM also said the chance of looming public sector cuts would cause “significant problems” for services that are “still recovering not just from Covid but from the years of austerity that followed the last financial crash”.

She said: “We need to see proper investment in our public services.

“And at the top of that list needs to be our National Health Service.

“The NHS is under more pressure right now than it has been probably at any time in its history and that pressure is only going to grow unless we see that significant injection of investment.

“So I really hope the Chancellor and the Prime Minister do the right thing later this week.”

Scotland has its own income tax system, and the Scottish Government will set out its tax and spending plans in the draft Holyrood budget for 203/24 on December 15.

The First Minister met with both the Chancellor and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week ahead of the British Irish Council in Blackpool but said the leaders did not provide much in the way of detail around what will be in the statement.

“They didn’t give an indication of the detail of the financial statement,” she said.