BBC Breakfast’s Charlie Stayt has engaged in a fiery debate with the Labour Party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner about the proposed tax cuts, demanding Ms Rayner answer his question about treating the poor “more favourably”. The BBC host interrupted Ms Rayner several times in an intense exchange as the pair struggled to find common ground. The deputy Labour leader made renewed calls for a windfall tax following Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax cuts announcements on Friday, claiming that it is imperative the Government focus on “longer term” growth.
Mr Stayt said: “If Labour were in power, would they pay less tax?
Ms Rayner said: “Well, we did not agree with the national insurance contribution rise.” Mr Stayt interrupted: “To be fair, my question was quite straightforward. Would they pay less tax?”
Ms Rayner said: “Well, we said we did not agree with the national insurance rise, so we are pleased that the Government has reversed that. But the 45p tax rate, that is the wrong priority.”
Mr Stayt said: “To be fair, I was going to ask you about the other end of the equation afterwards. I am trying to get a very straight answer.”
Ms Rayner said: “They certainly would not be paying more.”
Mr Stayt said: “Is that difficult? The thing that you seem to be accusing the Tory party for right now is that they are favouring the rich over the poor.
“So, my question to you is, would you be favouring those who have less money?
“I am asking you directly in tax terms, would they be treated more favourably?
Ms Rayner said: “We will set out our tax proposals.”
Ms Rayner added that the Government’s “trickle-down economics” approach would leave the next generation worse off as she set out how her party’s plans for growth would be different.
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It comes as the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the UK is going to be on an “unsustainable path” of borrowing as a result of the mini-budget.
Paul Johnson said this morning: “The remarkable thing, in a way, is that (the cuts were) done not in a proper budget, that didn’t come with any of the normal forecasts for the economy or indeed public finance forecasts.
“Which is why we’ve produced some, which suggests to us that borrowing is going to be a huge amount higher than the Office of Budget Responsibility or the Treasury thought at the last fiscal event back in March, at well over 100 billion a year into the indefinite future.
“As you heard, the scale of these tax cuts, along with the slowing of the economy, means that unless something remarkable happens, we’re going to be on an unsustainable path in terms of borrowing and, at some point, we’re likely to have to have tax rises to offset some of these cuts, or some cuts in spending.”
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