Osborne: Tax cuts might be difficult
Shadow chancellor George Osborne acknowledged today that a Conservative government might find it difficult to cut taxes if it wins power at the next general election.
Mr Osborne, who addresses the party's Spring Forum today in Gateshead, said they may inherit a "huge borrowing problem" after Chancellor Alistair Darling warned in his Budget that public finances were set to plunge further into the red.
While he said the party had a long-term commitment to try to cut taxes, he said he would not do anything to jeopardise economic stability.
"I cannot make a promise at the election that there will be a big reduction in the burden or there will be big tax cuts because I may well inherit a situation, if people vote Conservative in the general election, where I have huge borrowing figures to deal with," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"Already government borrowing next year is £7 billion higher than Alistair Darling was predicting just a couple of months ago so we might have a huge borrowing problem.
"It is my ambition to reduce taxes on families and reduce taxes on businesses, but of course the stability of the economy and the soundness of the public finances must come first."
His comments will frustrate those on the Tory right who have been pressing the leadership to make tax cuts a priority, believing that a big reduction could kickstart the economy.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...