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The Commons Leader said the UK was already facing the highest tax increases since at least the 1970s. His remarks are likely to be seen as a warning to Mr Sunak to introduce no further rises in his Budget on October 27.
Many grassroots Tories are understood to be unhappy about the Chancellor’s 1.25 percent National Insurance hike to raise £12billion a year for the NHS and social care.
In an interview, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “We are as highly taxed in this country as we have been, pretty much since the war, certainly since Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. The idea that there is all this extra tax to be plucked out is simply false. If we are to have a strong and growing economy, we are taxed as highly as the country can afford.
“The Conservative Party has always been the party of low taxation and sound money. And sometimes there’s a tension between the two.”
Mr Rees-Mogg said hitting the richest with a wealth tax could drive them abroad and slash revenue. He said: “The more billionaires you have, the more tax revenue you have, the more you can afford to do, the stronger the economy you have.
“Taxation lowers economic growth and it’s economic growth that we need to be able to pay the benefits and for the health service and so on that as a country we want to do.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng opposed keeping taxes high in the long term. Mr Kwarteng told the ConservativeHome website yesterday: “I don’t believe we can tax our way to wealth.”
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