Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson has pledged to cut taxes for the better off by increasing the 40p threshold from £50,000 to £80,000, in a shameless bid to “bribe” wealthy Conservative Party members into picking him for PM.
Unite condemned the move, saying “there are many more urgent priorities for the UK than one rich man feather-bedding his already rich friends”.
Raising the threshold would benefit around 3m higher earners by £155 a week or £6,000 a year.
Johnson told the Telegraph, “We should be raising thresholds of income tax – so that we help the huge numbers that have been captured in the higher rate by fiscal drag.”
The tax cut would cost around £9.6bn annually and would be paid in part by savings from no-deal Brexit preparations, Johnson said.
Despite the UK having one of the developed world’s lowest rates of corporation tax, Johnson also said that “we should be cutting business taxes”.
Referencing Johnson’s comments about having been given cocaine ‘which may have been icing sugar’ as a student, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said, “It’s not what Johnson has or hasn’t put up his nose that shocks.
“When there’s record levels of child poverty, food bank use, homelessness and an NHS in crisis, it’s this vile man’s bribes of his rich friends in pursuit of power that really disgusts me.”
Other Tory leadership hopefuls have also pledged to cut taxes as they attempt to appeal to the Conservative Party’s 160,000 members, who will vote for the next prime minister from a shortlist of two candidates chosen by the party’s MPs.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said, “Exactly as predicted, the Tory leadership race is degenerating into a race to the bottom in tax cuts.
“When there are 4.5m children in poverty, 1m elderly in severe poverty, the schools’ budgets and our police service stretched to breaking point, this (is) the Tory priority.”