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Osborne rejects calls for tax-cutting plans

George Osborne has rejected calls to cut taxes from the right of the party, claiming that there is “no such thing as a tax-cutting Shadow Chancellor”.

Speaking at a Cicero Consulting and Policy Exchange fringe event on Sunday, Osborne said it would not make any sense to propose tax cuts three years before the party could get into power.

He said some in the party believed that a “juicy tax prop-osal” such as cuts to IHT or income tax would be the “silver bullet” to election success but they forget that Margaret Thatcher increased taxes when she came to power to put economic stability first.

Right-wing thinktank the Centre For Policy Studies, MP John Redwood’s No Turning Back Group, the Tax Payers’ Alliance and Thatcherite former MP Norman Tebbit have all been active at the conference demanding cuts.

The Tories’ tax commission is also due to report this month calling for 19bn of tax cuts, including removing the burden of IHT on primary residences.

Osborne rejected calls to restore pension dividend tax relief and any return of Miras as “lazy thinking” although he said that he would look at increasing tax-exempt savings if it was affordable. Osborne said: “We need to be seen as sensible, competent people you can trust the economy to and it comes down to tax. Making irresponsible commitments three years before we could ever deliver a budget would say to people we are not ready for Government. There is no such thing as a tax-cutting Shadow Chancellor.”

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