'How Is That Fair?': BBC Presenter Points Out That Rich Will Benefit More From Tory Tax Cut

John Kay and Mel Stride.
John Kay and Mel Stride. BBC

A BBC presenter has pointed out the major flaw in Tory claims about how people will benefit from their tax cut plans.

John Kay put cabinet minister Mel Stride on the spot as the Conservatives prepare to launch their election manifesto.

The 76-page document is expected to pledge that the Tories will cut another 2p off National Insurance if they are re-elected.

However, on BBC Breakfast, Kay said research by the Institute for Public Policy Research think-tank showed those on the highest incomes will benefit most.

He said: “On National Insurance specifically, we’ve got this work by the Institute for Public Policy Research which says if you cut it by 2p, it’ll be wealthier people, people in London and the south east, who see the greatest benefit. How is that fair?”

Stride replied: “You’re speculating as to what might be in the manifesto, but on this point about cutting National Insurance, which we have cut by a third. If you take an average earner ... you actually end up with the lowest level of tax for average earners in over half a century.

“Those who are average earners are paying less marginal tax due to our cuts to National Insurance.”

The presenter also said the Tories could be “misreading the population” by prioritising tax cuts over investing more in public services.

He said: “As people go about their lives this morning and they dodge the potholes in the road, or they hang on the phone for a doctor’s appointment that doesn’t come, or they try to find a dentist who isn’t available, and they might think ‘you know what, times are really tough, I can’t really afford it but I’d rather pay a little but more tax, or at least keep paying the same amount of tax, and have better public services’.”

But Stride insisted the Conservatives would “go still further” in bringing down taxes.

He said: “I can’t give you the full detail, I’m itching to, but they are exciting and very meaningful and important further tax cuts under this government, because we’ve got a clear plan for where we’re taking the economy.”