Rishi Sunak has suggested Tory MPs who want him to cut taxes in the upcoming Budget are “idiots”.
According to reports chancellor Jeremy Hunt is preparing a slimmed-down Budget on March 15 which will not cut taxes.
Iain Duncan Smith, a former Tory leader, told the Daily Mail the party “won’t have a hope of winning the election” if it does not reduce the tax burden.
Former cabinet minister John Redwood said this morning: “Higher tax rates mean slower growth. Slower growth cuts tax revenues as we lose investment, jobs and more business activity.”
Speaking in Morecambe, the prime minister was told “many Tory MPs” wanted him to cut taxes quickly as he had promised as chancellor and during the summer leadership contest.
Sunak said as a Conservative “I want to cut your taxes” and wished he could do it “tomorrow”.
“But the reason we can’t is because of all the reasons you know. You’re not idiots, you know what’s happened,” he told members of the public.
He said the pandemic and the war in Ukraine had left the public finances “not where it needs to be”.
The prime minister added “it takes a bit of work to get there” but he vowed to make the economy stronger so the NHS and schools can be funded, secure lower interest rates and get a “grip of” inflation.
“Trust 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 those things we will be able to cut your taxes,” he said.
It came after billionaire Brexiteer businessman James Dyson warned Sunak that growth should not be seen as a “dirty word” and accused the government of a “short-sighted” approach.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said the Budget should “incentivise private innovation and demonstrate its ambition for growth”.