Boris Johnson insists there is 'cash available' for his Number 10 spending plans

Posted On: 
30th June 2019

Boris Johnson has insisted there is "cash available" for his ambitious spending plans if he becomes Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson said that increasing education spending was his top priority
Credit: 
PA

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The Tory leadership hopeful quoted a 14th century Tunisian scholar as he defended his growing list of pledges to pump money into public services and cut taxes.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme he denied that he was "having his cake and eating it", claiming there was "headroom available" in Treasury budgets.

He said: "Well actually, of course, as the great Tunisian scholar and sage Ibn Khaldun pointed out as early as the 14th century, there are plenty of taxes that you can cut which will actually increase your revenues and there are ways of making sure that you stimulate growth, you stimulate enterprise and you get more in.

"But what is certainly true is at the moment there is cash available."

Mr Johnson added: "I think at the moment there is the headroom available and we intend to use it. I also think you can do some great things to stimulate economic growth with tax cuts."

He said that education spending was his biggest priority, and committed to pumping an extra £4.6bn a year into the system by 2022-23.

The former foreign secretary said: "I think education is the single most important thing that we Conservatives believe in.

"In the sense that it is the tool that every kid should have to make the most of their talents and their opportunities, and a great education is the job of the state to provide to absolutely everybody.

"What's been happening in the UK over the last few years is that too many schools have been falling behind in their per capita provision.

"So what I want to do, day one, is level up and make sure that everybody, primary schools and secondary schools, get the funding they need."

'MINISTER FOR THE UNION'

It came after Mr Johnson pledged to change the Prime Minister's official title to add “Minister for the Union”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, he said: “Properly done, Brexit will not threaten the Union; a sensible Brexit will enhance the Union and protect it and make life more difficult for those who wish to destroy it.

“Now is the time therefore to be resolute, to get on with Brexit and to bring the whole country together.”

If he wins the race to replace Theresa May the moniker will be added alongside First Lord of the Treasury to the formal title of Prime Minister.

Elsewhere, Sunday Times reports that Mr Johnson has set up a US presidential-style transition team to put Whitehall on a “war footing” to deliver Brexit once he enters Number 10.

He has handed power to Health Secretary and former leadership candidate Matt Hancock, Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden and Sir Edward Lister, who was his chief of staff when he was Mayor of London.

A source told the paper: “Boris wants to hit the ground running. He knows that time is his greatest enemy and there is not a second to waste.

“He wants to be ready — without taking anything for granted.”