“Thatcher spinning in her grave” – Tories no longer party of low tax, say polled Britons

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Conservative North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen was reacting to findings from a survey by pollsters Redfield and Wilton which had more than twice as many respondents say Keir Starmer’s party was the party of low tax. The survey found that just 16 percent see the Conservatives as the party of low tax compared to 36 percent who identify Labour.

It comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak increased National Insurance with a new so-called “NHS tax” to help pay for the healthcare backlog created by covid lockdowns and care for the elderly.

The move was deeply unpopular with Tory backbenchers and appears to have shifted the opinion of voters about the Conservative Party.

Mr Bridgen said: “The people of North West Leicestershire elected me as a Conservative MP dedicated to low tax and a small state .Our Conservative prudence locally has meant our district council has frozen its council tax now for the last 12 years.

“Conservatives believe in only taxing when absolutely necessary. We don’t believe in higher national insurance, climate change levies or the highest tax burden in living memory. It’s about letting people keep more of the money they work so very hard to earn.

“It’s time to get back to real Conservative principles of low tax and a small state ,Mrs Thatcher will be currently spinning in her grave.”

The issue is set to have an impact in the local elections on May 5 and adds to the woes already being faced by Boris Johnson after he apologised for breaking lockdown rules and getting fined.

But Mr Sunak has insisted that he “believes in cutting tax” and in his Spring statement promised a 1 percent cut in income tax before the next election.

The Government also points to the fact that in his Spring Statement Mr Sunak also cut fuel duty and raised the point where people have to pay National Insurance bringing a saving of £200 on average.

During Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson also robustly defended the Government’s record on tax.

Responding to a question from Ealing North Labour MPJames Murray, he said: “We are responsible for cutting taxes for everybody which is what we are actually doing.”

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The issue could affect whether Tory MPs decide to move against Mr Johnson with many waiting for the results of the local elections.

Tax rises are feeding into the cost of living crisis which is the number one concern for around six in 10 voters according to recent polls.

The cost of living crisis could also see Mr Johnson forced to cancel green energy measures such as the green levy on energy bills which is pushing up the cost of heating and electricity.

Margaret Thatcher famously brought tax down when she was Prime Minister and simplified income tax with a highest rate of 40p for every £1 earned compared to 90p under the Labour government of the 1970s.

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