The BBC’s Andrew Marr repeatedly questioned Rishi Sunak on whether he was a “tax-cutting Chancellor or not”. Mr Sunak dodged the question, and said he will discuss his plans “next week at the Budget”. However, Mr Marr refused to relent, saying that Conservative MPs watching will wonder whether Mr Sunak was a “tax-cutting conservative or a big-state socialist”.
Mr Marr asked: “By the end of this parliament, will you be a tax-cutting Chancellor?”
Mr Sunak dodged the question, responding: “I’ll take about that next week at the Budget.”
The BBC host followed up: “But, broadly speaking?
“Lots of Conservatives will be watching and asking themselves, is he a tax-cutting Chancellor or is he not? Is he a big state-socialist?
“You can’t tell me whether you’ll be a tax-cutting Chancellor in principle by the end of this parliament?”
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Mr Sunak explained: “Of course, my instincts are to do that, that’s what I believe.
“I want people to keep more of their money, I want to reward people for working.
“But, I’ve had to grapple with the biggest economic shock in 300 years, borrowing at the highest since the WW2, and record backlogs in the NHS.”
This comes amid a Tory backlash to Mr Sunak refusal to cut business rates in Wednesday’s Budget to help struggling firms.
Former minister David Davis warned that the Government’s high tax plans could lead the UK “on to the rocks”.
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