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Boris Johnson has told business leaders he will shelve a planned cut in corporation tax, claiming he would put £6bn into public services instead.

The prime minister used a speech at the CBI conference to say corporation tax will not be cut from 19% to 17%, and issued a plea for business leaders to show understanding about his priorities.

Johnson’s decision to keep corporation tax unchanged comes as he attempts to distance the Conservatives from being seen as the party of big business, while promising tax cuts for small businesses, such as reducing rates and raising the employment allowance. George Osborne had originally announced the plan to reduce the tax to 17% by 2020.

Labour has relentlessly portrayed the Tories as the party of the wealthy and has promised a number of nationalisations, which they claim would make utilities, railway, broadband and other services work better for the public.

The prime minister’s calculations of the money saved will raise questions about Tory claims that cutting corporation tax does not cost the Treasury money.

Johnson also dropped a heavy hint he would include a major pledge on childcare in his manifesto. Read more

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