Saturday 17 August 2019 8:54 am

Chancellor Javid to 'simplify' the tax system in autumn budget

Chancellor Sajid Javid has suggested he will simplify the tax system when he sets out his first budget in the autumn.

Javid said he was a “low tax guy” and that it was important to “always be thinking about the lowest paid” in his first interview since taking on the role, speaking to The Times.

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When questioned about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to raise the higher rate of income tax from the current threshold of £50,000 to £80,000, Javid said: “Generally I want to see lower taxes, but at a level that is going to pay for the public services.”

The chancellor added that he wanted a “simpler” tax system and that while he wants to maximise revenue, it “doesn’t always mean that you have to have the highest tax rate possible”. 

He also said that he was considering changes to stamp duty. 

“I think taxes should be efficient,” Javid said, adding that he wouldn’t reveal exact plans until the budget.

Another change he is considering is with regards to the government’s current long-term plan of eliminating the deficit by the mid 2020s. 

“It is obvious to me that when you’ve got some of the lowest rates on government debt this country has ever seen I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t thinking seriously about how do we use [that opportunity],” he said.

However Javid did say he would stick to the existing budget guidelines, which see annual borrowing kept to under 2 per cent of gross domestic product.

He revealed he plans to set out government spending plans for the next financial year in the “first half” of September, but there would be a more comprehensive review of taxation and spending in his first annual budget, which could still come before Britain leaves the EU on 31 October.

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“When we have the budget, I will be thinking about whether we need to make any changes to the fiscal rules,” he said.

Javid also added that a no-deal Brexit would “require a significant economic package as a response”, but did not give details on what that would like.