PMQs: Boris Johnson heckled after claiming he wants to cut taxes despite raising them

Boris Johnson was heckled by opposition MPs after claiming he wants to cut taxes – just days before they are hiked by his Government.

The Prime Minister’s comments sparked fury on the opposition benches and cries of “rubbish”, with the public set to face the highest tax burden in 70 years.

His claims came after Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of putting the Tory re-election campaign “over and above” helping people pay their bills.

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Speaking in the Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions, Sir Keir said: “Does the Prime Minister still think that he and the Chancellor are tax-cutting Conservatives?”

The Prime Minister and Rishi Sunak are raising taxes despite a series of tax-cutting claims

Mr Johnson replied: “Yes, Mr Speaker, I certainly do, because this is the Government that has just introduced not only the biggest cut in fuel duty ever, but the biggest cut in tax for working people in the last ten years – 70 per cent of the population paying national insurance contributions will have a substantial tax cut as a result of what the Chancellor did.”

A Labour MP could be heard shouting “rubbish”.

Mr Johnson replied: “They don’t like it Mr Speaker. They always put up taxes.”

Sir Keir called on the Prime Minister to “cut the nonsense” and said the Government was giving £1 back for every £6 taken in taxes over “15 taxes rises, the highest tax burden for 70 years”.

He asked: “Prime Minister, is that cutting taxes or is that raising taxes?”

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Mr Johnson replied: “I don’t know where he has been for the last two years, but even by the standards of Captain Hindsight, to obliterate the biggest pandemic for the last century from his memory, to obliterate the £408 billion we have had to spend to look after people up and down the country, is quite extraordinary.

“This is a Government that is getting on with reducing the tax burden wherever we can. What we are doing – there is one measure I think he should be supporting – and that is the health and care levy to fund our NHS.”

The Labour leader joked: “I can only hope that his police questionnaire was bit more convincing than that.

“In 2024, when there just so happens to be a general election, they will introduce a small tax cut.

“That is not taking difficult decisions, it’s putting the Tory re-election campaign over and above helping people pay their bills. How did he find a Chancellor as utterly cynical as he is?”

Mr Johnson replied: “What we have is a Chancellor who took the tough decisions to look after the UK economy throughout the pandemic, who protected people up and down the land with £408bn worth of support.”

Sir Keir renewed his calls for a “windfall tax” on the profits of oil and gas companies, with Mr Johnson insisting the firms were investing money.

The Labour leader said: “Income stealth tax – a tax on working people. Tuition fee raid – a tax on working people. National insurance hike – a tax on working people.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week announced measures to help households, including raising the national insurance threshold to help offset the impact of April’s tax hike.

It was previously announced that a UK-wide 1.25 percentage point increase in NI contributions will be introduced from April 6.

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