Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Tory MPs that voting against Budget to upset Philip Hammond 'deeply irresponsible'

Conservative leadership favourite cautions party rebels against opposing Finance Bill

Arj Singh
Monday 23 October 2017 09:43
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Jacob Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg

Tory MPs have been warned that voting against the Budget in a bid to oust under-fire Chancellor Philip Hammond would be “deeply irresponsible”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, touted in some quarters as a Tory leadership contender, said opposing measures in the Finance Bill, which enact the Budget, would effectively be giving a vote of no confidence in the Government.

According to The Times, the Chancellor could face a backbench revolt if measures he announces in the 22 November set-piece are not to their liking.

Tory MPs are thought to be unhappy with Mr Hammond on a number of fronts, including reported plans to raid pensioners to pay for measures to help younger people, his apparent support for a “soft” Brexit, and his description of EU negotiators as “enemies”, which he later retracted.

Mr Rees-Mogg told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour: “Nobody has mentioned to me that it would be a good idea to vote against the Budget to upset Mr Hammond.

“I think any MP who thinks like that, any Tory MP is effectively giving a vote of no confidence in the Government, it would be deeply irresponsible.

“Budgets are really a matter of confidence and people should support the Budget.”

On Sunday, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid called for extra borrowing to fund investment in hundreds of thousands of new homes.

He said the Government should take advantage of record low interest rates to deal with the housing crisis, which is “the biggest barrier to social progress in our country today”.

The Chancellor is also facing pressure to spend enough money to help public sector workers squeezed by the 1% pay cap.

The cap has already been formally lifted for police and prison officers, and other sectors also expect wage boosts.

But with inflation rising, Mr Hammond is facing calls to ensure any pay rises are sufficient for workers to deal with the rising cost of living.

PA

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