Johnson says he is tax cutter, despite hiking tax burden to 70-year high
Boris Johnson has claimed he and Rishi Sunak are “tax-cutting Conservatives”, despite the pair hiking the UK’s tax burden to its highest level since the 1950s over the past two years.
Sunak oversaw cuts to fuel duty and National Insurance last week as a part of his economic spring statement last week, while also announcing that an income tax cut would come in from 2024.
However, the cut in National Insurance will only partially offset the increase he announced in October and comes after a swathe of other tax hikes.
The UK’s tax burden is now at its highest level in 70 years, after a net-increase in National Insurance, stealth income tax rises and hikes to Corporation Tax for the country’s largest firms that will come into effect next year.
When asked by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) whether he considered himself a tax-cutter, Johnson said: “I certainly do, because this is the government that has just introduced not only the biggest cut in fuel duty ever, but the biggest cut in tax for working people in the last 10 years.
“Seventy per cent of the population, paying National Insurance Contributions, will have a substantial tax cut as a result of what the chancellor did.
“If you take together what we are doing with income tax and National Insurance it’s the biggest tax cut … for 25 years.”
Starmer told Johnson to “cut the nonsense and treat the British people with a bit of respect”.
“This year British people face the worst fall in living standards on record – while they’re counting every penny, the Prime Minister is hitting them with higher taxes,” he said.
“In 2024, when there just so happens to be a General Election, they will introduce a small tax cut. That’s not taking difficult decisions, it’s putting the Tory re-election campaign over and above people paying their bills.”