News from Grassroots conservatives
21 Apr 2017
Mr Hammond has hinted that the Conservatives will not repeat promises made in 2015 not to increase tax.
The Chancellor told the IMF spring meeting in Washington that pledges not to increase income tax, national insurance and VAT “do constrain the ability of the government to manage the economy flexibly”.
When asked repeatedly whether the Tories will reaffirm their 2015 tax promises he said the pledges “will be different”.
He said: “I’m a Conservative I didn’t come into politics because I believed in higher taxes. I believe in lower taxes. And I want to see Britain as a high skill, high unemployment, high growth, low tax economy. I say low tax, I mean sensibly taxed economy.
“So I’m not in the business of having some ideological desire to increase taxes. But I also think we need to manage our economy sensibly and sustainably.
“We need to address the remainder of our deficit. Get our fiscal accounts back in to balance and it’s self-evidently clear that the commitments that were made in 2015 manifesto did and do today constrain the ability of the government to manage the economy flexibly.”
Two hours later Mr Hammond issued a fresh comment on his view on tax.
He told The Telegraph: “We are and will always be the low tax party. And Labour will always be the high tax party”
Ed Costelloe, the chairman of the Grassroots Conservatives movement, said Mr Hammond’s remarks were “electorally rather silly”.
The Chancellor had shown an “element of naivety”, he said adding: “It is possible we are being softened up for some of the effects of Brexit.”
From The Daily Telegraph Saturday April 22