Brexiteer John Redwood issues warning to Rishi Sunak: ‘Tax rises will backfire horribly’

Rishi Sunak says 'all support will be reviewed in budget'

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Brexiteer Sir John Redwood has urged the Chancellor to be “bold” in his forthcoming Budget by unveiling proposals which get Britain back to work – warning: “The last thing we need is a tax rise”. Mr Sunak is widely expected to announce his plan to increase Corporation Tax to 19 pence in the pound on March 3 in a move he hopes will raise an extra £3billion for the Treasury in 2021, and will also unveil plans to increase it to 23 percent eventually.

No new taxes, no increase in tax rates – it’s a very simple message

Sir John Redwood

However, Sir John, the Tory MP for Wokingham and a member of the eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG), told Express.co.uk: “No new taxes, no increase in tax rates – it’s a very simple message.

“We all want to get this shockingly large deficit down and in order to get it down, you have to understand why it went up.

“And it went up because we had a collapse in a big area of the economy, because the Government had to take strong action to deal with a health emergency.

“So we’ve seen a huge mushrooming of public expenditure right to give people more benefits to give businesses grants to shield people in employment who would otherwise have lost their jobs.

“And then there was a big loss in tax revenues because around a quarter of the economy has either closed down completely or was very hit by social distancing and reduced turnover and business, and so there was much less to tax.”

With a full recovery, tax revenue would come flooding back, massively boosting the amount coming into the HMRC’s coffers, Sir John stressed.

He added: “So do I want the economy to pay a lot more tax to pay the bills? Yes of course I do.

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“Do I want the tax bills down? Yes because I want not to have to pay people to stay at home – I want them to go to work.

“So everything you do must be to promote recovery.

“Once you understand that the last thing you want is a tax rise or a new tax or a tax hit.

“If anything, you should be going in for tax rate cuts and tax rate holidays of the moment, because the vital thing is to get as many people back to work and as many businesses with good turnover as possible.

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“If the Government really wants to help promote recovery, instead of dreaming tax rises it wants to offer as much work as possible to British companies.

“We’ve got a whole load of imports we could replace, and the Government could help do that and that would give us a supercharged recovery, which is what we need.”

Sir John added: “We need to be bold. You only get the deficit down if you have a very strong recovery.

“Economy lost about a 10th of its output, because of the health measures taken.

“We need to get that back as quickly as possible.”

China was already producing more than it had pre-pandemic and the United States was already on the road to recovery, Sir John said.

He added: “The UK, now it is free, needs to be more like America, it needs to get its economy going more quickly.

I think we can get rid of VAT on things that shouldn’t have VAT on.

“We can fish more of our own fish, grow more of our own food without Common Agricultural Policy restrictions.

“There are huge opportunities for import substitution and for promoting growth. We have to take those opportunities.

“We need to start putting in more electricity capacity straight away.

“We’re importing five to 10 percent of our electrical power. Why? We should be self-sufficient in electricity.”

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