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Could Tory manifesto drop pledge not to raise income tax or VAT?

21 Avril 2017

After the embarrassing U-turn on the attempt to raise taxes for the self-employed, Philip Hammond told me the government needed "flexibility" on taxes.

"I sense that the mood is moving more towards incremental change rather than tearing the edifice down", Hammond said of the Dodd-Frank law.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation has written to Hammond to call for the bill to be slimmed down, focusing only on essential revenue raising measures such as renewing income tax provisions. "It was self-evidently clear that the commitments that were made in the 2015 manfiesto did and do today constrain the ability to manage the economy flexibly".

"All chancellors would prefer to have more flexibility in how they manage the economy and how they manage the overall tax burden down [rather] than having to have their hands crossed".

It is not known whether these taxes could face increases if the pledge is withdrawn when the Tories release their 2017 manifesto in the coming days.

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The reversal left Mr Hammond with a headache, as the 2% rise to Class 4 National Insurance contributions was meant to raise £2bn for social care.

Parties are expected to publish their election manifestos next week as the first full week of campaigning for the election gets underway.

"As soon as we are able to, as soon as it's possible in terms of our obligations to the European Union, we will begin preliminary discussions with the United States" on a trade accord, Mr. Hammond said, adding Britain would aim for a "comprehensive" agreement covering both goods and services.

Asked about the potential for US financial deregulation, including new studies ordered by Trump of regulatory burdens imposed by the Dodd-Frank post-crisis reform law, Hammond said he believes these efforts may be "incremental" steps more aimed at easing burdens on smaller banks.

Could Tory manifesto drop pledge not to raise income tax or VAT?