Theresa May says Conservatives are the party of lower taxes while Labour's "natural instinct" is to raise them

Rebecca Smith
Earlier this week the PM announced a surprise General Election
Earlier this week the PM announced a surprise General Election (Source: Getty)

The Prime Minister said the Conservatives are "a lower tax party", but refused to rule out tax rises after the election.

Theresa May made a speech today at the Netherton Conservative Club in Dudley, and told reporters that in contrast, Labour's "natural instinct" was to raise tax.

Read more: Tory manifesto must resist any radical change of direction

"At this election, people are going to have a very clear choice," she said. "They will have a choice between a Conservative party, which always has been, is, and will continue to be, a party that believes in lower taxes," May outlined, or a Labour party "whose natural instinct is always to raise taxes".

However, the Prime Minister also refused to confirm whether her party would increase taxes after the General Election, leaving a question mark over whether the Conservatives will keep their 2015 manifesto pledge not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT.

May also would not be drawn into making a guarantee on preserving the triple lock on state pensions that ensures an increase of at least 2.5 per cent every year.

Read more: May: Early General Election is in the national interest

The shadow chancellor John McDonnell has accused the government of planning "a tax bombshell".

It comes after chancellor Philip Hammond said yesterday that there should be "flexibility to manage the system" of taxation.

May said voters will have the choice between "the strong and stable leadership" of the Conservatives, or the "weak and unstable coalition chaos" led by Jeremy Corbyn.

The Prime Minister called a snap General Election that will be going ahead on 8 June earlier this week.

May has previously stressed she had no plans to call an early vote, but said she became in favour of an election "recently and reluctantly", as a result of the start of Brexit negotiations.

"At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. the country is coming together but Westminster is not," she said, blaming opposition parties for threats to obstruct Brexit.

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