Campaigning in West Yorkshire yesterday, the Prime Minister reiterated her assurance that the Conservatives remained a “low-tax” party.
However, she stopped short of repeating an apparent promise by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon that there would be no rise in income tax for higher earners.
Mrs May said: “What people will know when they go to vote on Thursday is that it is the Conservative Party that always has been, is and always will be a low-tax party. It is our firm intention to reduce taxes for ordinary working families.”
Theresa May has said it is her “firm intention” to reduce taxes for ordinary working families
The Tory manifesto, published last month, said there would be no increase in VAT but dropped David Cameron’s pledge in the 2015 general election not to raise income tax or national insurance contributions.
It is the Conservative Party that always has been, is and always will be a low-tax party
However, in a newspaper interview published yesterday, Sir Michael said voting Conservative was “the only way” people could be sure income tax would not be hiked.
Asked if high earners could confidently vote for Mrs May next week, safe in the knowledge that their income tax would not go up, Sir Michael said: “Yes. You’ve seen our record.
"We’re not in the business of punishing people for getting on. On the contrary, we want people to keep more of their earnings.
Campaigning in West Yorkshire May reiterated her assurance that they remained a ‘low-tax' party
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Sir Michael Fallon said that there would be no rise in income tax for higher earners
“The only way they can be sure their taxes won’t rise is to vote Conservative. We already know your tax will go up if you vote Labour on Thursday.”
The manifesto commits the Tories to increasing the personal allowance to £12,500 and the threshold for the 40p higher rate to £50,000 by 2020.
Labour’s plans would see the 45p rate of income tax kick in for people earning £80,000 instead of the current £150,000, with a new 50p rate for people earning more than £123,000.
Sir Michael said: “You can be sure your tax will go up if you’re a higher-rate taxpayer if you stay at home on Thursday.
“We need every single vote, not simply to show Brussels we’re serious about the Brexit negotiations but to underpin the strong economy we’ve created.”
The Defence Secretary said Labour had announced a further £9.5billion of unfunded spending on top of the £48.6billion of policy pledges contained in its manifesto.
The extra plans include £6billion for writing off student debt, £3.3billion on unfreezing benefits and £134million on capping regulated rail fares, he said.
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Jeremy Corbyn claimed the Conservatives’ tax plans were 'in chaos'
He accused Mr Corbyn of “taking Britain back to the Seventies” with Labour’s re-nationalisation plans, pointing out that in the old days: “You had to sit in your fl at for days waiting for a telephone engineer to appear”.
Jeremy Corbyn claimed the Conservatives’ tax plans were “in chaos”, telling reporters during a campaign visit to Lincoln yesterday: “One minister says they’re going to give no more tax rises, indeed possibly tax reductions for the very wealthiest, then they can’t answer the question about tax rises for the rest of the population, then they can’t answer the questions about funding social care.”
Mr Fallon’s comments – which went beyond the Tory manifesto – will increase speculation that he is to take over from Philip Hammond at the Treasury.
In a newspaper interview published yesterday, Mrs May declined to guarantee that Mr Hammond will remain in his position if the Tories win the election.
Theresa May declined to guarantee that Mr Hammond will remain in his position if the Tories win
Last night, sources close to Boris Johnson said they were confident he would keep his job in the event of a post-election cabinet re-shuffle.
It is understood reassurances were given at the beginning of the campaign that the Foreign Secretary would remain in position amid intense speculation he was being kept away from the cameras.
Last night Mrs May pledged a skills revolution to help boost Britain’s economy as we leave the EU.
New post-16 “T-Levels” will replace the current landscape of 13,000 existing technical qualifications.
The Prime Minister said: “We will put technical excellence on a par with academic education.”