British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday refused to rule out personal tax increases if she wins the June 8 vote after finance minister Philip Hammond said financial pledges limited his ability to run the economy.
Earlier this year, Mae and Hammond had to cancel a planned increase in employment tax just days after it was announced following criticism that the measure violated the party’s commitments in the 2015 elections.
May’s sudden decision to call for elections on June 8 raised speculation that the Conservative Party’s leadership program would abandon commitments not to increase the VAT rate, income tax or public income insurance tax to help reduce the budget deficit.
During a campaign conference in central England, May refused to say whether taxes could be excluded when reporters asked her about the issue three times.
“In this election, people will have a clear choice between the Conservative Party which has always been and will remain a party that believes in tax cuts.
“Either the Labor Party option, whose natural tendency is always to raise taxes, this is the option of tax cuts under conservative or tax increases under workers.”
Hammond raised the issue of tax increases on Friday when he told reporters during a visit to Washington that he wanted the British economy to be “reasonably taxable” and not facing a budget deficit.
“It is clear that the commitments made in 2015 have reduced and reduced the government’s ability to manage the economy flexibly today,” he said.