No need for tax rises, says Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne: “I’m clear that tax increases are not required”

George Osborne says he will not need to raise taxes to meet deficit reduction targets after the next election.

Speaking in front of the Treasury Committee, the chancellor said he would be able to cut borrowing through spending cuts alone.

He said original plans to cut the deficit with 80% spending cuts and 20% tax rises were only ever “a guide”.

He also suggested that Labour might choose to raise taxes, should the party win the election in 2015.

“I am clear that tax increases are not required to achieve [further consolidation]. It can be achieved with spending reductions,” Mr Osborne told MPs.

Regarding Labour, he said: “I’m not sure whether they would do big tax increases. I suspect they would, but that is for them to explain.”

Last month, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a think tank, suggested Mr Osborne would have to raise taxes by £6bn to maintain a 80%-20% split between cuts and tax rises.

But the chancellor told the Committee that the coalition had made no agreement on the mix of cuts and taxes beyond 2015-16.

Separately, Mr Osborne announced plans to ban pre-briefing of the media on the contents of his Budget speech.

That followed an internal inquiry into the publication of details of March’s Budget on the front page of the Evening Standard, which was tweeted before the speech began.

But he said he would continue to give pre-Budget television interviews to “explain the context” around the Budget speech.

BBC News – Politics

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