(Bloomberg) -- UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told colleagues in the Conservative Party that next week’s Spring Budget will see him pursue “smart tax cuts” that drive growth and reward work.

Addressing a group known as the One Nation Conservatives at a private meeting Monday night, Hunt said the fiscal giveaways wouldn’t be on the same scale as in last November’s Autumn Statement, which saw cuts to taxes on work and the permanent extension of a program allowing businesses to offset the cost of investment against their tax bill. 

Instead he said the Spring Budget would be a continuation of the theme set by the Autumn Statement, according to a person familiar with the matter. The chancellor’s comments reflect the reality that this time around, he has very limited headroom on his fiscal targets, thought to be around £13 billion ($16.5 billion) — though some economists estimate it could be larger.

It comes as the ruling Conservative Party is fighting to bring voters on side, as it lags the opposition Labour in polls ahead of a general election expected later this year. While Hunt is under pressure from the right of his party, who want to see the UK’s tax burden reduced, his rumored plans to reduce taxes at the expense of other departmental budgets have drawn criticism from some economists including the International Monetary Fund.

They could also increase growing public disquiet with the state of core services such as health, criminal justice, and transport, amid ongoing strikes from junior doctors in the National Health Service.

The One Nation group of MPs, which sits politically toward the center-right of the Conservatives, has been urging Hunt to cut working taxes in next week’s budget — as opposed to shaving down other levies such as inheritance taxes that benefit the wealthier.

It has also asked for a multiyear settlement on childcare funding, amid rising pressure on staffing levels in the sector, and a levy on foreign owners of vacant properties. 

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