Fallon signals tax hike if Tories win election
TORIES could scrap their manifesto promise to not raise taxes, a senior Cabinet minister suggested yesterday.
The Conservative Party could increase income tax, VAT and national insurance if its wins the snap general election on June 8, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said.
PM Theresa May refused to repeat the manifesto pledge in a question session on Friday three times.
This prompted shadow chancellor John McDonnell to claim that she was planning to unleash a “tax bombshell” if she wins a majority.
Mr Fallon insisted the Tories are the party of “lower taxes” but admitted it does not want to commit to too many “prescriptive” targets in its next manifesto.
He indicated that the “tax lock” pledge from the 2015 general election could be dropped.
On ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Fallon said: “Just a few more days and you’ll see it in our manifesto in black and white.”
The pledge got Chancellor Philip Hammond in trouble with Tory MPs soon after his spring Budget this year.
He was then forced to make a humiliating U-turn on his plans to increase national insurance rates for the self-employed.
Now, Mr Hammond says he needed more “flexibility” with the economy and is considering breaking the promise once again.
Mr Fallon said a review of the rights of self-employed workers would continue, and he echoed the Chancellor’s claim that the government might need to take more money off employees and self-employed workers.
This is while their party has reduced the 28per cent corporation tax to 19 per cent with plans to further reduce it to 17 per cent by 2020.
Mr Fallon told Good Morning Britain: “I think what [Mr Hammond] said is he doesn’t want too many targets inside the manifesto that are too prescriptive, that don’t allow you, as the situation develops over the lifetime of the parliament, that don’t allow you the flexibility.”
He also claimed — while hinting that taxes could be raised — that “it’s Labour governments that increase tax” while “Conservative governments take the lower paid out of tax.”