Steve Baker would like to see tax cuts 'immediately'
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The former Brexit minister who considered running himself has come out for Attorney General Suella Braverman and suggested she might bring in an emergency budget. He warned that under Boris Johnson the Conservative Party had gone into “the wrong place” and the new Prime Minister must reverse his tax hikes.
Speaking in a video interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Baker said: “I made a speech in the House of Commons saying that the Conservative Party is the wrong place heading in the wrong direction [over the National Insurance rise].
“The reason for that is we have some age related problems and we are not going to solve that by raising taxes on working people. We have got to grow the economy.
“High taxes are more counterproductive at the moment than doing good.
“I am really determined that however difficult it may be, we must rise to the challenge of our age and create a brighter, more prosperous, freer future for everyone, especially the young and we are not going to do that by raising taxes on people.”
Asked when they should come, Mr Baker insisted that a new Prime Minister should not wait hinting strongly at an emergency Budget.
He said: “I would like to see tax cuts immediately, that’s because I think tax at the current levels is doing more harm than good.
“So, I would like to see tax cuts straight away.
“That will have to involve hard choices, but it is the right thing to do for everybody in this country.”
He has declined to back another Brexiteer Rishi Sunak, who resigned last week as Chancellor, but is blamed by many MPs for the country spending too much and taxes going up instead of down.
Outlining which taxes he wants to go, Mr Baker said: “Rishi Sunak set out that he wanted to cut income tax.
“Really to help people we need to be cutting national insurance, cutting income tax, cutting fuel, cutting VAT.
Mr Baker also led the resistance to lockdown when he and former Chief Whip Mark Harper set up the covid recovery group.
He suggested that Ms Braverman would not pursue the same policies as Mr Johnson.
He said: “I am very certain that Suella Braverman is a true blue Conservative who can be counted on to advance freedom.
“I am very confident that were she Prime Minister and I was in her government things would work out somewhat differently in future.”
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He made is clear as well that if Ms Braverman wins, he would like a job like Chief Whip organising MPs.
He said: ““People will know that my history is one of organising things and working to serve other people. That is where I would like to go.”
Looking back on Mr Johnson’s Premiership he said it would be remembered as “historic.”
Mr Baker said: “Boris Johnson was a historic Prime Minister. He saved us from a hard left government which would have ruined us for generations. Corbyn and MacDonnell would have been an utter disaster.
“He also took us out of the EU. Now we have to finish the job with the Northern Ireland protocol and divergence from EU regulations. But those are historic achievements.
“He saved this country, rescued our constitution and rescued the Conservative Party.
“I am very sad indeed that Boris, who I backed so hard, had to end his Premiership in this way but we now have to look to the future.”
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