Select Page

Rishi Sunak must not try to raise taxes in this parliament, the leader of the group of northern Tory MPs has told Sky News.

When the chancellor delivers his spending review later, he will also unveil a set of dire forecasts.

These are likely to show the lowest growth for 300 years, with a long-term permanent gap of around £40-50bn between cash raised in taxes and money spent.

MPs believe Mr Sunak will say the gap needs to be closed, preparing the ground for further tax rises in the future, although specific rates will not be raised today.

Mr Sunak will not set out new “fiscal rules” today, nor will he reveal the necessary mix of tax rises and spending cuts.

Jake Berry, founder of the Northern Research Group, said: “The chancellor has been clear that it is the mission of all Conservative governments to balance the books and I’m sure he will re-state that (in the spending review).

“It’s quite difficult, I think, to see tax rises coming very quickly. Nobody wants to snuff out this recovery. My personal view is that they are probably going to be post-2024.”

This means that tax rises would come on the cusp of the next general election, meaning Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr Sunak must either admit to raising taxes in the Tory manifesto, risking political unpopularity, or not spell them out and face claims they are not levelling with the public.

However, Mr Berry argued that there is no danger of debt becoming unaffordable, so Mr Sunak should continue to spend to support the recovery.

He said: “The reason he can afford to take that approach is that even though we are one of the most indebted countries, we can borrow money cheaply.

“The global line for what is an acceptable earning to debt ratio has shifted for all nations which have doubled down and spent money to beat this crisis. There is a problem, there is a day when we all have to pay, I don’t think it’s coming in the very near term.”

Read Full Story on Sky News

Read Also: Home Office failings contributed to Windrush generation injustices, report finds