Liam Halligan: UK tax burden heading for its highest level since WW2

Boris Johnson faces warning from within his own party not to hike taxes further

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The UK tax burden is now heading for its highest level since the second world war. Boris Johnson last month broke a manifesto pledge by raising national insurance for both employers and employees – a £36 billion pound tax hike to tackle NHS waiting lists and social care costs.

On top of that, corporation tax is set to rise from 19 percent to 25 percent from 2023. Given all these tax rises, do the Tories still stand for low taxation? Voters increasingly think not. A survey by the TaxPayers’ Alliance found that over a third of the electorate now thinks Labour can be more trusted than the Tories to keep tax low.

Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak face warning from within their own party not to hike taxes further during the Budget Statement on 27th October. Cabinet ministers and senior Tory backbenchers are urging party leaders to preserve the party’s reputation for low taxation.

From within the cabinet, Jacob Rees-Mogg says raising tax rates is “counterproductive” and will result in “less tax revenue” for the Treasury. Sir Graham Brady, who as chairman of the 1922 Committee is the most senior Tory backbencher, says the Tories’ “credible reputation” as a low tax party is now under threat.