Rapid economic recovery next year could allow Rishi Sunak to delay tax rises until 2022, ministers hope
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to commit to the Tories’ triple tax lock
- Senior Treasury ministers are waiting until the end of the coronavirus pandemic
- A source told The Telegraph tax rises would not come any time soon
- Mr Sunak has not ruled out raising income tax, VAT and National Insurance
Treasury ministers hope tax rises can be delayed until 2022 if the economy recovers quickly next year, it has been revealed.
Earlier this week Chancellor Rishi Sunak refused to commit to the Tories’ triple tax lock – despite it being a key manifesto commitment.
A source said former advisor Rupert Harrison’s comments that taxation measures won’t appear for another year were ‘interesting’.
Asked on BBC Breakfast if the tax lock still applied, Mr Sunak said: ‘It wouldn’t be appropriate for any chancellor to speculate about future tax policy because that has real-world implications.’
The Chancellor (pictured on BBC Breakfast) did not rule out raising income tax, VAT or National Insurance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic
He added that the scale of borrowing this year was ‘not sustainable’.
The ‘triple lock’ against the rates of these taxes increasing was a central part of Boris Johnson’s manifesto at the December 2019 general election, and Mr Sunak was asked if that pledge still stood.
Mr Sunak said the scale of borrowing undertaken this year is ‘not sustainable’ but that ‘now is not the time to address that’.
‘But once we get through this and we have more certainty about the economic outlook we will need to look at how we can make sure we have a strong set of public finances,’ he said.
The ‘triple lock’ against the rates of these taxes increasing was a central part of Boris Johnson’s manifesto at the December 2019 general election, and Mr Sunak (pictured during the Spending Review in the House of Commons) was asked if that pledge still stood
Mr Sunak already announced on Wednesday that he would be dropping another Tory manifesto pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid.
Later a Treasury spokesman said: ‘The chancellor, as any chancellor, rightly does not speculate on future tax policy. But we remain committed to the manifesto pledge.’
Mel Stride, Conservative chair of the House of Commons Treasury select committee, said it was inevitable the chancellor would look at the three taxes covered by the manifesto lock because they made up about two-thirds of tax revenue.