Rishi Claims Increased Welfare Spending is “Tax Cut”

An astounding front page from the Daily Express this morning – even more astounding than some of the out-there claims about the SAS killing Diana. They claim the Chancellor, who oversees the highest tax burden since the Second World War and introduced the record Tory tax rises on working people, is a “low tax Tory”. It gets worse…

In the interview the Chancellor makes an incredible claim:

“Mr Sunak said the cut in the “taper” levy on earnings from 63% to 55% and £500 increase in the Work Allowance showed he is a low-tax Tory… I think actions speak louder than words. And that’s why this announcement is important.”

These are in fact both increases in welfare payments to the recipients, not tax cuts. That is simply not true and Guido is tempted to put a complaint into IPSO about the headline on the basis of accuracy. Other taxpayers will have to pay for the increase in universal credit payments and the increase in the Work Allowance. Regardless of your views on the merits of the changes, they can in no way be described as “tax cuts”. Matthew Lesh of the Adam Smith Institute explains:

“I’m surprised the Chancellor doesn’t seem to know the difference between a tax cut and an increase in welfare payments, even if it is justifiable to let lower earners keep more money. The central issue is the hypocrisy. The Chancellor cannot go around claiming to be a low tax Tory while increasing taxes to a 70 year high and ratcheting up state spending. Actions do speak louder than words, and quite clearly, Rishi’s actions are not low tax. If he wants any chance of winning back the hearts and minds of Tory members and the country, he’ll have to get actually tax cutting.”

Rishi’s net approval ratings with the Tory rank and file according to ConservativeHome have seen him fall from first place to ninth place, with Liz Truss well in the lead. If Rishi wants to keep his leadership hopes alive, he is going to have to really cut some actual taxes… 

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