Rishi Sunak defied Tory calls for tax cuts in the budget today, suggesting only fools think the burden can fall quickly after Covid and the war in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister gave a blunt answer when asked about the potential for cuts soon – and also hit out at James Dyson after the billionaire launched a blunt attack on the government’s ‘short-sighted’ and ‘stupid’ policies .
Asked on a visit to Morecambe whether he will cut taxes, Mr Sunak said: “I’m a Tory, I want to cut your taxes… I wish I could do it tomorrow, quite frankly, but the reason for which we can’t is because of all the reasons you know.
“You are not idiots, you know what happened.
He said the pandemic and the war in Ukraine had left public finances “not where they needed to be”.
Mr Sunak said ‘it takes a bit of work to get there’ but he pledged to strengthen the economy so the NHS and schools can be funded, secure lower interest rates and get the economy under control ‘inflation.
“Believe me, that’s what I’m going to do for you this year, that’s what we’re going to do while I’m Prime Minister and if we do these things we can lower your taxes,” he said. he adds.
Mr Sunak also pointed to the ‘super deduction’ – which allows companies to invest large sums tax free – saying he would like to know from Sir James if another country offered something similar.
Mr Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have struggled to generate revenue since transferring from Downing Street last October, insisting their priority is to stabilize public finances following the disastrous collapse of Liz Truss.
However, the Conservative benches are concerned that there appears to be no prospect of tax cuts in the March budget.
MailOnline understands there is instead Cabinet pressure for Mr Hunt to lighten the burden on Britons by the autumn, fearing this will be the only ‘narrow path’ for the Tories to win the next election.
Rishi Sunak gave a candid answer when asked about the potential for cuts soon
Billionaire James Dyson (left) today launched a brutal attack on ‘short-sighted’ and ‘stupid’ bureaucracy and high taxes in the UK. The comments come amid growing pressure from Tory ministers and MPs for Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt (right) to introduce tax cuts.
The tax burden has risen sharply in recent years, alarming conservatives
Famous tycoon and inventor Sir James has said Britain is stuck in a state of ‘Covid inertia’ which is holding back the economy.
Sir James, who backed Brexit and has an estimated net worth of £23billion, accused the Conservative government of ‘interfering’ and ‘penalizing the private sector’.
He also complained that the failure to get workers back to the office after the pandemic has “seriously damaged the country’s self-confidence and work ethic”.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Sir James called on Mr Hunt to use the Spring Budget to ‘encourage private innovation and demonstrate ambition for growth’.
“The government seems determined to go in the opposite direction with the introduction of stifling regulation, more interference in business and thinking it can impose taxes on business believing that penalizing the private sector is a victory. free at the ballot box. ‘
Sir James warned: ‘It’s as short-sighted as it is stupid. In the global economy, companies will simply choose to transfer jobs and invest elsewhere.
“Our country has an illustrious history of enterprise and innovation, born of a culture that we are in the process of extinguishing.”
The negative assessment came despite glimmers of hope that inflation might ease.
Yesterday’s figures showed the headline CPI finally falling from 40-year highs, with a rate of 10.5% in the year to December.
GDP data also held up slightly better than analysts had expected, with the UK potentially avoiding a technical recession in the final quarter of 2022.
Conservatives believe the government should have a bit more leeway after lower energy costs, reducing household bill subsidy debt.
A senior minister has told MailOnline that Rishi Sunak and Mr Hunt will make the decision, but a likely election in the second half of next year is expected to focus tempers. The tax cuts could help bolster Rishi Sunak’s standing and morale in Parliament’s tough past year.
The minister said there were “reasons for hope, with the economic data improving slightly”.
Inflation fell slightly in December after hitting a 40-year high in October
GDP data also held up slightly better than analysts had expected, potentially avoiding a technical recession in the final quarter of 2022.
“Bills are starting to subside, inflation could come down,” they said.
“If we can save money on things like the energy bill scheme, if the economy is stronger because we’ve stabilized the government, then maybe we can get back to the tax cut issue soon. “
They added: “It’s a narrow path. We need a better economy, persuading people to trust us with the NHS. We may have to get lucky with Ukraine and hope Starmer makes some mistakes.
“But it’s all about momentum. If we go into 2024 putting money back in people’s pockets, everything will be at stake.
A Treasury source insisted tackling inflation was Mr Hunt’s ‘priority’.
“We want low taxes and a sound currency. But sound money has to come first because inflation eats away at the pound in people’s pockets even more insidiously than taxes,” they said.
However, they acknowledged that the Bank of England predicted the Prime Minister’s target of halving inflation could be achieved by the final quarter of the year.