Jacob Rees-Mogg has fired a warning shot ahead of the budget, telling Chris Hope that the country is now taxed “as highly as the country can afford”, and it’s “false” to say further tax rises are required. Should be a statement of the obvious, though it is nice to hear a member of the Cabinet say it…
Asked by an audience of sixth formers why billionaires don’t pay more tax, Rees-Mogg clearly explained:
“We are as highly taxed in this country as we have been up pretty much since the War, certainly since Harold Wilson was Prime Minister.
“The idea that there is all this extra tax to be plucked out is simply false. If we are to have a strong and growing economy, we are taxed as highly as the country can afford.
“So actually if you increase taxes, you will find there is less money, partly because billionaires can just leave and then you don’t get any money from them at all.
“But also because taxation lowers economic growth and it’s economic growth that we need to be able to pay the benefits and for the health service and so on that as a country we want to do.”
The confirmation from Rees-Mogg that there are still some low tax Tories left in the Cabinet may not come as too much of a surprise, given he was reported to have been just one of three Cabinet members who spoke out against Rishi’s National Insurance hike prior to the government announcing it, which followed the corporation tax hike. Jacob is loyal to Boris – the party’s low tax wing is however looking for a figure to rally around…