(Bloomberg) -- UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said his budget will be “prudent” and “responsible,” as he tried to temper expectations of Conservative MPs who want eye-catching tax cuts to give their party a pre-election boost.

“I do want, where it’s possible to do so responsibly, to move towards a lower-tax economy,” Hunt said on the BBC on Sunday, when asked about his fiscal plan due on Wednesday. “I hope to show a path in that direction.”

Hunt is set to cut income tax or national insurance by at least one percentage point on March 6, part of an effort to give the Tories a polling boost ahead of an election expected later this year. He and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak were making final decisions this weekend about how far they could go with their tax-cutting plans, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hunt’s challenge has been finding the money for voter-pleasing giveaways given his weak economic starting point. Prior to any new policies, the Office for Budget Responsibility has been saying he has about £13 billion ($16.4 billion) of breathing space before he breaches his own fiscal rule to have the national debt falling in five years’ time. That margin is near historic lows.

Despite recent criticism of the role of the OBR and the fiscal rules from Britain’s tabloid press, Hunt defended them on Sunday and said he didn’t want to change them.

“If we didn’t have them, people would worry that Britain is going to go on an endless borrowing binge,” he said. “We’re not that sort of country.”

Hunt said he wouldn’t borrow to fund tax cuts, and the Treasury has been considering various revenue-raising options to give him more room for maneuver at the budget. 

They include scrapping the non-domiciled tax status and extending a windfall tax on the profits of oil & gas companies. Hunt declined to comment on any potential non-dom tax changes.

As another way of raising funds, the Sunday Times newspaper reported that Hunt is set to abolish various tax perks for landlords who rent out their properties to short-term holidaymakers rather than long-term tenants.

Hunt said the overall focus of his budget would be pursuing “long-term growth” and continuing the efforts started at his last fiscal statement in November, where he gave a major tax break to businesses in a bid to spur investment and cut national insurance, a payroll tax.

“I do believe countries with lower tax tend to grow faster,” Hunt said in a separate interview Sunday on Sky News. “We need to move back to being a lower-taxed, more-lightly-regulated economy.”

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