Liz Truss Demands Tax Cuts at Pro-Growth Rally

A packed house in the Trafford Suite at Tory Conference this afternoon, as Liz Truss made her one and only fringe appearance to beat the drum for tax cuts and sweeping planning reforms. Flanked by Ranil Jayawardena, Priti Patel, and Jacob Rees-Mogg… and with Nigel Farage sat front row in his first Tory conference appearance since the 80’s.


Truss opened by calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (whom she appointed) to bring corporation tax back down to 19%, just an hour before he delivers his main stage address. She also got a big round of applause for demanding massive deregulation to build 500,000 new homes every year. Cutting corporation tax would be nice, although she was Prime Minister when Hunt announced he’d hike it last year. At the time, she claimed it was justified because it would “raise £18 billion a year”, despite previously campaigning against it. Now she appears to have changed her mind again. At least she was right the first time…

Ranil, Mogg, and Priti gave similar rallying calls. Liam Halligan, hosting, won the biggest cheer of the lot when he introduced himself as a GB News host. Rees-Mogg and Farage beamed from the front row…


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Tory MPs, Activists and Former Chancellors Say Scrap Corporation Tax Hike

The TaxPayers’ Alliance dynamic tax model suggests the planned 6% increase in corporation tax from the current rate of 19% to 25% could cost £30.2 billion of lost GDP after a decade. Investment would be £11.9 billion higher after ten years if the rise was cancelled, highlighted by AstraZeneca’s announcement of a new manufacturing plant in low-tax Ireland rather than the UK.

The founder of the Conservative Growth Group of MPs, Ranil Jayawardena, says the modelling shows that scrapping the rise would “create jobs, encourage investment and help pay for itself.” Even more surprising are reports that former chancellors George Osborne, Philip Hammond and Kwasi Kwarteng all think the hike proposed for a little over a month’s time is a mistake.

Ahead of Jeremy Hunt’s first Spring Budget on March 15, the three former chancellors have separately chimed in. Hammond told the Telegraph “My view on corporation tax is always that it’s better to have lower than higher. I am quite disappointed that we will be increasing it to 25%.”

George Osborne highlighted the AstraZeneca decision when he told the BBC:

“The reason I reduced business taxes was to attract investment and attract research and attract companies like AstraZeneca, and if you put up taxes then you will potentially have the opposite effect. I reduced business tax because I thought that was a way of bringing investment in. That creates the revenues that allow you to fund your public services. That’s the approach I took and would be the approach I would take again.”

Kwasi Kwarteng says increasing corporation tax “doesn’t help our competitiveness”, adding: “We have got to look at ways to improve our attractiveness to foreign investors.”

The OBR’s forecast coming in as out by £30 billion versus the real world data released last week means there is room to reverse the corporation tax hike. Sunak and Hunt have no mandate to raise taxes and they are being rhetorically outflanked by Labour on tax-cutting. A ridiculous situation for Conservatives who claim to be low tax Tories…

mdi-timer 27 February 2023 @ 14:30 27 Feb 2023 @ 14:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Government’s New Policy Will Block Gillian Rees-Mogg’s Somerset Solar Farm

During the leadership election Liz Truss consistently got loud rounds of applause from Tory members over her plan to ban solar projects on farmland, which she condemned as “a blight on the landscape” and “depressing”. On Monday, No. 10’s spokesman reiterated this policy to the media:

“In September [Truss] said she doesn’t think we should be putting solar panels on productive agricultural land, as well as the energy security issue we face a food security issue.”

Details of the new policy are scarce, though it’s believed DEFRA Secretary Ranil Jayawardena wants to widen the definition of “best and most versatile” land to prohibit solar farms from being built.

At this point in the story we head over to Bristol, where just 2.6 miles away from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s house a 58-hectare solar farm development is being proposed on land in Bishop Sutton. It’ll be a nice little money-spinner for those owning the land.

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s own council – Bath and North East Somerset – acknowledge in a document that the development will expend “agricultural land”, “currently used for grazing”. So clearly Jacob would be unlikely to support the plans…

The biggest problem for Jacob Rees-Mogg? Much of the planned land for the development is owned by none other than his mother, Gillian Rees-Mogg…

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Who’s Backing Who: Monday Morning State of Play

Here we go: the race begins today. The 1922 Committee will meet late this afternoon to formally launch the process of selecting Britain’s next Prime Minister; the big question hovering over the meeting is what – not if – number of backers they’ll increase the qualification threshold to. Currently eight, however with 11 candidates plus a likely Priti attempt it’s expected it could increase anywhere from 20 backers to 36. A tenth of the parliamentary party…

The state of play this morning looks almost the same as last night, albeit after a frantic weekend – Guido disputes it was anything of the sort – by the end of which 44% of MPs have backed a horse, it’s unsurprising movement’s slowing down.

Saying that, Liz Truss has managed to draw into joint third place after her campaign launch in the Telegraph last night. Kwasi Kwarteng was the big name to back her, however it’s a triple ministerial byline in The Times from Ranil Jayawardena, Wendy Morton and Vicky Ford who have helped her overtake Nadhim. Harking back to the now-infamous 2019 triple Boris-backing-byline by Rishi, Jenrick and Dowden…

Rishi remains well in the lead, beating second place Penny Mordaunt by 13 backers.  Before the 1922 Committee writes the rules for the contest, there’s the small business of electing a new executive – a process that, just a week ago, was dominated by talk about whether there’d be enough anti-Boris members to force a rule change. It’s unlikely Sir Graham will be leaving his post…

Looking ahead to the rest of the week, nominations must be submitted to Sir Graham by 6pm on Tuesday, with voting due to start on Wednesday after PMQs. The first result will be announced early on Wednesday evening. Thursday, another vote will be held ad infinitum until we have two final candidates to go before the Tory membership. Strap in for another mad week…

The backers in full can be found here:

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Trade Minister’s Jim Hacker Euro-Sausage Moment

Trade minister Ranil Jayawardena was in full flow during Commons questioning today, railing against Europe’s planned sausage war in Northern Ireland:

“In respect of the issues around meat, it is wrong that anyone should be threatening the British sausage. We will stand up for the British sausage and no-one will ever be able to destroy it.”

Very ‘Yes, Minister’…

mdi-timer 10 June 2021 @ 11:27 10 Jun 2021 @ 11:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Appoints CCHQ Vice Chairs

Boris has put the finishing touches on his reshuffle this afternoon by appointing a fresh batch of Tory MPs to support new Party Chairman James Cleverly in CCHQ. Paul Scully was appointed Deputy Chairman last week alongside Helen Whately who remains in the role, now six further MPs have been appointed Parliamentary Vice Chairmen:

  • Andrew Bowie
  • Sir David Evennett
  • Helen Grant
  • Ranil Jayawardena
  • Caroline Johnson
  • Alec Shelbrooke (reappointed)

No word yet on who’s got the “youth” brief. Or whether they’ll be younger than former youth Vice Chair Nigel Huddlestone at 48 years young…

mdi-timer 5 August 2019 @ 16:50 5 Aug 2019 @ 16:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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