Rishi Sunak suggests only ‘idiots’ think he can cut tax in Budget

Rishi Sunak has suggested only “idiots” would not understand the factors meaning he cannot deliver the immediate tax cuts some Conservatives desire. The Prime Minister

insisted he does want to reduce taxation but argued the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine mean he cannot do so yet. “You’re not idiots, you know what’s

happened,” he told an audience in Morecambe, Lancashire, on Thursday. His comments came during the week that Tory MPs aligned with former prime minister Liz Truss’s

tax-cutting agenda met for the first time as part of the “Conservative Growth Group”. Billionaire businessman Sir James Dyson has also criticised the Government’s

“short-sighted” and “stupid” approach to the economy. Mr Sunak defended his policies during a discussion with voters he has dubbed “PM Connect”, as he seeks to turn around

the Conservatives’ dire polling. In a jibe at Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister said: “When I was Chancellor I also really preferred it when the Prime Minister didn’t

comment on tax policy. “I’m a Conservative, I want to cut your taxes… I wish I could do that tomorrow quite frankly but the reason we can’t is because of all the reasons you

know. “You’re not idiots, you know what’s happened. “We had a massive pandemic for two years, we had to shut the country down, do a bunch of extraordinary things that

didn’t come cheap. Now we’ve got this war going on which is having an enormous impact on inflation and interest rates.” Mr Sunak said it “takes a bit of work” to get the

state of the public finances “where it needs to be”.