David Cameron has indicated he intends to cut taxes if the Conservatives win the next election – but admitted he may not be able to prevent a rise if the economy deteriorated.
Mr Cameron said what drove him as a Tory was a desire “to give people back some of their hard-earned money and try to reduce their taxes”. But when asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr if he would commit not to raise taxes after 2015, he added: “No government can ever give a blanket assurance about every single thing under the sun.”
George Osborne has said the Tories’ current deficit reduction plans can be achieved without further tax rises. Referring to the Chancellor’s comments, the Prime Minister said: “What George said is that our plans that show [a] further need for spending reductions don’t include any plans for tax rises.”
Asked if that was a promise to voters, Mr Cameron added: “I’m a low-tax Conservative. I think as we start to see the economy healing, I want to give people back some of their hard-earned money and try to reduce their taxes.
“That is what drives me as a Conservative. I think your economy does better if you say to people, ‘You’ve worked hard; here is some of your money back in a tax reduction.”
Catherine McKinnell, Labour’s shadow Treasury Minister, said voters would not believe anything the Government said on tax. “After broken promises not to raise VAT or cut child benefit, nobody will believe what David Cameron or George Osborne say,” she said.
“The Tories’ decisions have made people on middle and low incomes worse off. Labour would help families right now by introducing a 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by a mansion tax. And, instead of cutting taxes for millionaires, the Government should have protected tax credits for working families.”