Humiliating slap down

Tory bosses blast Fallon over tax freeze gaffe

Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon: upset party

Michael Fallon has been left humiliated after Conservative bosses denied his claim that the party would not raise taxes for the higher paid.

The comments by the Defence Secretary in the last parliament led to criticism that the Conservatives are protecting the well-off.

Mr Fallon told the Daily Telegraph the Tories did not “seek to punish people for getting on”.

He said: “You’ve seen our record. We’re not in the business of punishing people for getting on. On the contrary, we want people to keep more of their earnings. The only way they can be sure their taxes won’t rise is to vote Conservative.”

The SNP’s Stewart Hosie, said: “Tory plans for a tax freeze for the richest in society were clearly airbrushed out of their manifesto, but Michael Fallon has let the cat out of the bag.

“Tories are planning to balance the books on the backs of the poor, pensioners and ordinary hard working people whilst protecting the richest in our society.”

But a Tory spokesman insisted there was “no change” to the taxation policy in the party’s manifesto, which did not contain such a pledge. So far the party has only said it would freeze VAT.

Former Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson said: “The Conservatives are in utter mayhem over their tax policy.

“Theresa May is refusing to rule out crippling stealth taxes on working families because she knows her extreme Brexit will blow a huge hole in our public finances.

“People shouldn’t have to accept a bad Brexit deal that would mean higher prices, higher taxes and fewer jobs.”

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