Jeremy Hunt promises to end ‘vicious circle’ of tax rises after Tory MP revolt
The Chancellor has vowed to stop the “vicious circle of ever-rising taxes” by shaking up public services and the benefit system.
Jeremy Hunt’s remarks come as the Conservatives prepare for their party conference.
More than 30 Tory MPs, including former PM Liz Truss and former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel, have said they won’t approve any plans that see taxes increase overall.
According to The Times, however, Mr Hunt said he couldn’t deliver tax cuts in the short term.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said on Friday that national taxation levels were at their highest for 70 years and were not likely to come down soon.
Mr Hunt told the publication: “We need a state that doesn’t just deliver the services it currently delivers, but actually improves the services it delivers and recognises that there’s going to be more calls on those services with an ageing population.
“But we need to find a formula that doesn’t mean that we’re in a vicious circle of ever-rising taxes.”
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He argued that employing radical new artificial intelligence technology was a route through which the workload of the civil service could be reduced.
In an interview with LBC earlier this month, Mr Hunt said the to cut taxes in November’s Autumn Statement was “virtually impossible”.
This comes as a band of Tory MPs publicly pledged that they would “never again vote for an increase in overall taxes”.
The group included Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sir Brandon Lewis as well as Ms Truss and Dame Priti.
Dame Priti said: “State spending is now nearly £1.2tn, with over £1tn being raised in taxes. This level of spending, borrowing and taxation is unsustainable.
“The British people need a tax break – we need to trust people and businesses to keep more of what they earn and spend their money to support themselves and economic growth.”
The pledge reads: “I (insert MPs Name) pledge to the taxpayers of (constituency) and to the British People, that I will not vote for or support any new taxes that increase the overall tax burden. My pledge will protect the working people, families and businesses of our United Kingdom.”
The full list of MPs signing the pledge are: Sir Jake Berry, Sir Brandon Lewis, Rt Hon Liz Truss, Sir Jacob Rees Mogg, Dame Priti Patel, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Sir James Dudderidge, Dame Andrea Jenkyns, Sir John Redwood, Danny Kruger, Greg Smith, Bill Wiggin, John Stevenson, Damien Moore, Ben Bradley, David Jones, Karl McCartney, Col Bob Stewart, Lucy Allan, Craig Whittaker, Robert Courts, Craig Mackinley, Alun Cairns, Stephen McPartland, Henry Smith, Kevin Foster, Paul Bristow, Chris Green, Adam Holloway, Nick Fletcher, Jonathan Gullis and Marcus Fysh.
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