Tax rises not ruled out

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PM refuses to rule out tax increases With the Chancellor’s autumn Budget on the horizon, the Prime Minister has refused to rule out further tax increases. In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on the first day of Conservative Party conference, Boris Johnson said that he was a "zealous opponent of unnecessary tax rises" but warned that the pandemic had hit the economy like a "fiscal meteorite". BBC News notes that when the Government last month announced an increase to National Insurance, the PM was asked whether he would rule out additional taxes, with Mr Johnson offering an "emotional commitment" that he did not want to introduce further rises. When quizzed by Mr Marr as to whether ministers will raise taxes again, Mr Johnson said: "If I can possibly avoid it, I do not want to raise taxes again." Insisting that there is “no fiercer and more zealous opponent of unnecessary tax rises” than himself, the PM warned: “But we have had to deal with a pandemic on a scale which this country has not seen before in our lifetimes and long before.” “We don't want to raise taxes, of course we don't, but what we will not do is be irresponsible with the public finances,” he added. Meanwhile, a number of Conservatives have warned against higher taxation, with Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg telling a party conference fringe event that "we are at the upper reaches of the reasonableness of the tax burden" and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss telling BBC News: “None of us want to see taxes rise, we are a low tax party.” Meanwhile, Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee, told an event hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies that ministers need to set out a plan to cut taxes “well before” the next election, warning that the Tories’ "credible reputation" as a low tax party is under threat.

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