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    Rishi Sunak refuses to rule out raising income tax, VAT or National Insurance

    Is Rishi Sunak ditching the triple tax lock? Chancellor refuses to rule out raising income tax, VAT or National Insurance to plug coronavirus black hole

    • Rishi Sunak did not rule out raising income tax, VAT or National Insurance
    • He told BBC Breakfast the scale of borrowing this year was ‘not sustainable’
    • The ‘triple lock’ against the rates of these taxes increasing was in manifesto 
    • Mr Sunak said now was not the time to address the sustainability of borrowing 

    Rishi Sunak refused to commit to the Tories’ triple tax lock yesterday – despite it being a key manifesto commitment.

    The Chancellor yesterday did not rule out raising income tax, VAT or National Insurance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Asked on BBC Breakfast if the tax lock still applied, Mr Sunak said: ‘It wouldn’t be appropriate for any chancellor to speculate about future tax policy because that has real-world implications.’

    The Chancellor (pictured on BBC Breakfast) yesterday did not rule out raising income tax, VAT or National Insurance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

    He added that the scale of borrowing this year was ‘not sustainable’.

    The ‘triple lock’ against the rates of these taxes increasing was a central part of Boris Johnson’s manifesto at the December 2019 general election, and Mr Sunak was asked if that pledge still stood.

    Mr Sunak said the scale of borrowing undertaken this year is ‘not sustainable’ but that ‘now is not the time to address that’.

    ‘But once we get through this and we have more certainty about the economic outlook we will need to look at how we can make sure we have a strong set of public finances,’ he said.

    The ‘triple lock’ against the rates of these taxes increasing was a central part of Boris Johnson’s manifesto at the December 2019 general election, and Mr Sunak (pictured during the Spending Review in the House of Commons) was asked if that pledge still stood

    The ‘triple lock’ against the rates of these taxes increasing was a central part of Boris Johnson’s manifesto at the December 2019 general election, and Mr Sunak (pictured during the Spending Review in the House of Commons) was asked if that pledge still stood

    Mr Sunak already announced on Wednesday that he would be dropping another Tory manifesto pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid.

    Later a Treasury spokesman said: ‘The chancellor, as any chancellor, rightly does not speculate on future tax policy. But we remain committed to the manifesto pledge.’

    Mel Stride, Conservative chair of the House of Commons Treasury select committee, said it was inevitable the chancellor would look at the three taxes covered by the manifesto lock because they made up about two-thirds of tax revenue. 

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