Jeremy Hunt Claims Labour Will Put Up Taxes, Apparently Forgetting His Own Legacy

The government's record seems to have slipped the chancellor's mind.
Jeremy Hunt tries some food as he visits a Morrisons store in London last month.
Jeremy Hunt tries some food as he visits a Morrisons store in London last month.
WPA Pool via Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt has accused Labour of planning to put up taxes if they win the election - even though that’s exactly what he’s done in recent years.

The chancellor said the Tories would bring tax down if they are re-elected, despite doing precisely the opposite since 2019.

Hunt famously reversed all of Liz Truss’s planned tax cuts after he was appointed chancellor in the wake of her disastrous mini-Budget.

Meanwhile, both Hunt and Rishi Sunak when he was chancellor have frozen income tax thresholds, thereby dragging millions of workers into higher bands.

Taken together, the Tory measures have seen the tax burden rise to a post-war high.

In a speech in London, Hunt insisted that Covid and the spike in energy bills caused by the war in Ukraine left the Conservatives with no choice but to put up taxes.

He said: “Labour likes to criticise tax rises this parliament, thinking people don’t know why they have gone up — the furlough scheme, the energy price guarantee and billions of pounds of cost-of-living support, policies Labour themselves supported.

“Which is why it is playground politics to use those tax rises to distract debate from the biggest divide in British politics — which is what happens next.

“Conservatives recognise that whilst those tax rises may have been necessary, they should not be permanent. Labour do not.”

He added: “Taxes will go up under any future Labour government as sure as night follows day.

“Taxes will go down under a Conservative government because we will do the hard work necessary to keep our economy competitive.”

Hunt also repeated his pledge to eventually scrap National Insurance, a policy which Labour has said will cost £46 billion a year.

James Murray, Labour’s shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “There is nothing Jeremy Hunt can say or do to hide that fact that working people are worse off after 14 years of economic failure under the Conservatives.

“The tax burden is at a 70-year high and the average household is forecast to be £870 worse off under Rishi Sunak’s tax plan.

“Now Jeremy Hunt is desperately trying to distract from reality with his reckless £46 billion unfunded tax plan to abolish national insurance.”


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