Boris Johnson continues to claim that the Conservatives are the party of low taxes. Speaking on the first day of the Conservative party conference, here in Manchester, the prime minister told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that there is “no fiercer opponent” to “zealous” taxes than himself.
This is odd, coming so soon after a National Insurance hike. This is a leader who has increased overall taxes to their highest level since at least the 1970s. Even when claiming to be for low taxes he refused to rule out raising even more taxes to “build, build, build” the country out of the crisis.
In an LBC interview in 2019, he promised: “We will not be raising taxes on income, on VAT or National Insurance”.
At the party conference, there is concern about the tax burden among Tory activists. “Red Wall” councillors – many of whom were elected in May’s local elections – told The Hound of their anger.
One said there is a “huge disconnect” between voters who loaned their support at the 2019 general election and MPs in Westminster. She said they have been forced to defend “bollocks” tax rises to her constituents, who will be disproportionately hit by tax hikes.
This will be a lively theme on the conference fringe this week.