Everyone will have to pay more tax under plans due to be announced on Thursday, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says.
Offering a message few ministers would risk saying out loud, Mr Hunt told the BBC: “I’ve been explicit that taxes are going to go up.”
He confirmed he would be giving details about further help for those struggling with energy bills, but warned there had to be constraints on help.
Labour accused the Conservatives of making a “total mess” of the economy.
Mr Hunt was speaking to the BBC just days before he is due to deliver his tax and spending plans in Parliament as part of the Autumn Statement.