Rishi Sunak has rejected Liz Truss’s call for corporation tax to be slashed, arguing it is not the “right priority”.
On Monday, the former prime minister urged Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, to cut the levy on business in the Autumn Statement on Nov 22.
Asked if Ms Truss was wrong to call for corporation tax to be cut, the Prime Minister told ITV News: “I think we had this debate last summer, I’m not interested in looking at the past. I’m interested in doing the right thing for the country in the long term.
“Lots of people will have lots of ideas. I don’t think that’s the right priority. I’ve been very clear about that.”
Corporation tax increased from 19 per cent to 25 per cent in April this year.
During her short time in Downing Street last year, Ms Truss pledged to cancel the rise and freeze the tax at 19 per cent.
But in the wake of the disastrous response to her mini-Budget, she reinstated the planned rise to 25 per cent.
Speaking on the fringes of the Tory conference on Monday, Ms Truss said: “We must unleash British business by cutting corporation tax.
“We can’t stand idly by while companies like AstraZeneca move operations abroad because of our huge tax burden or small businesses shut up shop because they are drowning in red tape.
“We should be hungry to attract the world’s best businesses and encouraging people to start businesses here at home. We must not normalise the raiding of businesses’ coffers.
“Ahead of this year’s Autumn Statement, we must make the Conservative Party the party of business once again, by getting corporation tax back down to 19 per cent.”
She added: “This is how we make Britain grow again. It is free businesses that will get us there, not the Treasury, not the Government and not the state.
“Only free businesses can get Britain out of its 25-year economic stagnation. Only free businesses can create the economic growth and tax revenues on which our public services rely.
“So let’s give British business more freedom by easing their tax burden – freedom to flourish, to employ, to export, to research, develop and invest in the future, and to make Britain grow again.”