Former Conservative cabinet minister condemns tax cut for the rich as ‘wrong’

·2-min read
Julian Smith.  (PA Media)
Julian Smith. (PA Media)

A former Conservative cabinet minister has called the government’s mini budget announcing tax cuts for the rich “wrong”.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith attacked the measures which include the scrapping of the 45p top rate of tax.

The MP for Skipton and Ripon tweeted: “In a statement with many positive enterprise measures this huge tax cut for the very rich at a time of national crisis & real fear & anxiety amongst low income workers & citizens is wrong.

Others piled onto social media in response to the MP’s tweet.

Guy Cavaleri, tweeted in response to the MP’s tweet: “Finally, a Tory MP with honesty and back bone. thank you Julian. your fellow Tory MP’s are blind, its shocking.”

Al Sam tweeted: “If you forget for a moment about whether the rich or the poor benefit - how can a government come up with a plan like this that is so badly received by the markets? Don’t you have any kind of quality control on your policies.”

Under the mini budget the basic rate of income tax will be cut to 19p in the pound from April 202 which will mean 31 million people will be better off by an average of £170 per year.

The 45% higher rate of income tax is to be abolished under the mini budget with a cap on bankers’ bonuses also being scrapped.

The basic rate of income tax will be cut to 19p in the pound from April 2023 which will mean 31 million people will be better off by an average of £170 per year.

It was already announced that April’s National Insurance hike is to be reversed from 6 November - saving money for businesses and 28 million workers. The 1.25 percentage points increase was introduced under former chancellor Rishi Sunak.

However, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has insisted it was “absolutely fair” to cut taxes across the board.

He and Prime Minister Liz Truss visited a manufacturing facility in Kent on Friday afternoon where they observed the robotic arm welding process, spoke to apprentices and met staff on the wall finishing line.

Responding to a suggestion the tax cuts are not fair, Mr Kwarteng said: “It’s absolutely fair to reduce people’s taxes and to make sure, as you’ve admitted, that people are going to retain more of what they earn.

“The path we were on was simply unsustainable.

“We couldn’t simply raise taxes indefinitely and hope that we would get prosperity.”