Tory civil war rages on as Rishi Sunak is ordered by Sir John Redwood to cut tax
John Redwood demands Sunak halves corporation tax
The civil war in the Conservative Party over tax policy intensified after veteran Brexiteer MP Sir John Redwood demanded that Rishi Sunak perform a spectacular U-turn and halve Corporation Tax on businesses.
The comments in an interview with Camilla Tominey on GB News this morning have sparked further discontent over the Government’s economic policy.
With the party lagging 20 points behind Labour in the polls many Tory MPs believe that the only way they can win the next election is to return to their core values and start slashing taxes again.
But Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Mr Sunak have so far ruled out doing that insisting they need to “stick to the economic plan” to halve inflation.
At the last Budget, there was fury that Mr Hunt pressed ahead with plans for a hike in Corporation Tax from 19p in the pound to 25p.
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Already the high Corporation Tax rates have seen AstraZeneca relocate its factory to Ireland which has a rate of just 12.5p, half of the UK amount.
Sir John warned that many more companies are relocating to Ireland because the UK is uncompetitive and that it is currently raking in four times the amount of business tax as a result.
Asked what level it should be during a discussion on GB News, he said: “12.5 percent, along with the Irish. I think the Irish have got this right.
“As I’ve been explaining to the Government for several years, the Irish collect four times as much tax per head from business tax than we do by setting a rate which is now half our level.
“We’ve watched as Ireland has attracted massive American investment, particularly in the digital industries, the really exciting growth area of the world economy, and much of that investment would probably come to Britain if we’d had the same corporation tax rate as the Republic of Ireland.”
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Sir John also tapped into another area of anger for Conservative MPs – Net Zero climate change taxes and policies – and called for the 2030 ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to be abandoned.
He said: “They should pause that policy as the European Union has done, and the European Union is particularly enthusiastic about net zero policies, as we know, but they see that it’s going to kill the German motor industry.
“But the other thing they need to do urgently, this Government, is to suspend the policy of taxing companies from next year if they don’t sell enough electric cars and sell too many petrol and diesel cars.
“It’s a crazy disincentive to any manufacturer to come to Britain and a particular barrier for our industry at a time when it needs support and help. The industry is crying out to lift that, so I would urge the Government to do that immediately.”
The row erupted again while Mr Sunak is on holiday in California with his family.
But Sir John’s comments reflect wider discontent in the party with concerns that Mr Sunak will not have the major Cabinet reshuffle and change of policies needed for them to launch a fightback for the next election.
Among those who Tory MPs want removed is the Chancellor but it is understood he will be safe from the ministerial axe.
Former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, whose controversial mini-budget with tax cuts led to the rapid downfall of Liz Truss’s government, also weighed in on Corporation Tax being too high.
Also speaking to Ms Tominey on GB News, he revealed the current economic crisis has hit his family.
He said: “It’s probably revealing too much [but] I am on a tracker as well. I am affected by…they [mortgage repayments] have gone up considerably.”
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