Lamont: Let Borrowing Rise Short-Term, Don’t Raise Taxes

With Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s roadmap to recovery due to be revealed on Wednesday, former Chancellor Norman Lamont today appeared on the latest episode of the Blue Collar Conversations podcast to offer idea.

Speaking to former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, Lamont argues that the Government’s priority should be “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

He advocates focusing on pro-enterprise policies, such as cutting the cost of employing people and securing an employer national insurance holiday. 

Lamont was joined by John Redwood.  Both warned against tax rises.  Instead, consistent with the ‘practical conservatism’ preached by members of the Blue Collar Conservatism caucus in Parliament, Lamont said:

“In the short term, you’ve just got to let borrowing take the strain and I would not put up taxes because I think if you put up taxes, you would stifle the recovery.

“And you know, it may take a couple of years before the recovery has really got going.

“I would let the borrowing rise in the short term. And then we can look at things further down the line, but I wouldn’t be in favour of putting up taxes, even if it became necessary in the longer run. I think it would be vital not to do it in the immediate future because it would just stop the recovery taking place.”

On the podcast, Lamont also reflects on his time behind the scenes in the Treasury, the civil service and the troubles that lie ahead for Sunak.  Having been Chancellor during Black Wednesday, no doubt even Rishi will be tuning in to hear Lord Lamont this weekend

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