Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg has revealed that during Liz Truss’s short-lived premiership, he came up with a tax-cutting plan so radical that even the Thatcher-loving Tory leader blocked it.
Speaking at a packed conference fringe event in Manchester, Sir Jacob says he backed an unprecedented plan to abolish income tax as we know it, and instead move to a single flat rate for all earners.
He said the radical plan should still be considered, citing Estonia as a country that has tried it and seen impressive economic growth.
Sir Jacob channelled Ronald Reagan in championing tax cuts, saying having low, simple rates of tax grows the economy.
He said: “That’s what Ronald Reagan did so successfully. And what happens? You grow the tax base because you grow the economy, and if you grow the tax base you can spend taxpayer’s money and afford to do things that people want.”
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He also slammed Inheritance Tax, and described death duties as a “pernicious tax”.
He said: “The undertaker comes with the taxman following behind, pulling a long face as he takes the money out of the coffin before its even buried.
“The horror of death duties is one we should never forget, but it’s worse that, it’s not just mean it’s a bad tax.”
Sir Jacob joined Liz Truss, Dame Priti Patel and Ranil Jayawardena in rallying a packed room of Tories in favour of lower taxes.
The intervention from the host of Tory big beasts comes as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt comes under further pressure to cut taxes as soon as possible.
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This morning he implied there would be no capacity for tax cuts in this year’s autumn statement, as it will hit progress on driving down inflation.
Former PM Ms Truss returned to the Tory conference, almost a year to the day she and Kwasi Kwarteng U-turned on the 45p tax rate cut, which destabilised her programme and led swiftly to her departure from No. 10.
Ms Truss arrived with a list of demands for the Tory leadership, including cutting Corporation Tax back to 19 percent, and lower if possible.
She also said the UK should get fracking to cut energy bills and business costs.
The former PM also said the Government should have a target to build 500,000 homes a year to tackle the crisis in house prices and rent costs.
She suggested the Government should give tax breaks to local areas that accept more homes, and Tory MPs should stop merely talking about house prices, but vote to abolish the regulations keeping prices so high.
The event proved one of the most popular so far at this year’s conference, with a queue stretching a long way from the door.
She said Tories must not just call for pro-growth policies, but explain what they would mean in real terms for people’s livelihoods.
If the UK had grown as fast as the US over recent years, she argued, the average Brit would be £9,000 better off, enough for new cars, holidays and presents at Christmas.
She called for the Tories to stop “taxing and banning”, and instead get building and making.
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