Chancellor faces calls for tax cuts as Budget looms

THE CHANCELLOR is coming under mounting pressure from Conservative colleagues to demonstrate government support for “aspiration” by making tax cuts in the upcoming Budget.

Cuts to business taxes such as the “punishing” air passenger duty are required to kick-start the economy, a group of Conservative ministers is warning.

The Free Enterprise group of Tory MPs will today set out its proposals for George Osborne (pictured) to bring in cuts to corporate taxes, while an independent review conducted by Labour will on Tuesday recommend a sharp drop in capital gains tax for long-term investors.

In an article for The Telegraph, Priti Patel, a supporter of the group and member of the Conservative 1922 Committee, called on the chancellor to “wake up” to the damage high taxes are doing. She added an introduction of tax breaks for married couples would help families.

“Our economy is still struggling,” Patel said. “Growth is sluggish, rising living costs mean families have to tighten their belts and the Exchequer is missing out on billions of pounds every year thanks to illegal tax evasion… The truth is that the taxes and regulations themselves are a large part of the problem.”

In previous Budgets under the coalition government, Liberal Democrats have pushed for higher taxes on the wealthy, but most Tories are pressing for the chancellor to defend prosperity.

Tim Loughton, the former education minister, said: “This government is absolutely on the side of people who want to do the right thing, who work hard and keep their noses clean. But that message is not getting across.

“It’s not just about PR. It’s about doing some of the things people voted Conservative for at the last election – that’s about reducing taxes, it’s about recognising families are having a tough time and recognising marriage in the tax system… these are things people voted Conservative for.”

Related reading

tax dictionary