Sat, 2 December 2023

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Backbench Tory MPs pile pressure on PM to rule out tax rises amid coronavirus crisis

Boris Johnson will virtually take questions from the 1922 committee on Friday afternoon (PA)

2 min read

Tory MPs are set to urge Boris Johnson to lift lockdown and resist tax rises at a meeting of the 1922 Committee on Friday.

Boris Johnson will take questions from 250 backbenchers in the committee’s first-ever virtual gathering.

According to The Telegraph, MPs plan to use the event to call on the Prime Minister to halt tax rises proposed by the Treasury to pay for coronavirus measures.

They will also reportedly express opposition to a pay freeze for public sector workers and an end to the pension triple lock.

It comes after leaked documents revealed earlier this week that such measures were being considered to cover the £300billion bill for the bailout.

The Conservatives have since dismissed claims of public sector pay cuts, insisting that workers “won’t be forgotten”.

But a source told The Telegraph: "The Treasury mandarins will no doubt come up with public sector pay freezes, tax rises and spending cuts, but the issue we will be saying is that if this is to be a 'V-shaped' recovery then you can recover not all of it but part of it from income that will come from the taxes you have already.

"We know that if you reduce taxes then the take [for the Treasury] increases. So it will be seriously bad news if we try to increase taxes."

Meanwhile, another source said MPs would use the meeting to urge Mr Johnson to end the UK lockdown.

They said: "Members of Parliament are sympathetic to the Prime Minister – we want to support him – but, just like our constituents, we are worried about the clinical and the economic consequences of continuing the lockdown."

On Sunday, the Prime Minister announced a phased approach to lifting the lockdown which would see schools, shops and public spaces gradually reopened over several months.

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