Rees-Mogg Slams May’s NHS Tax Hike

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Matt Cardy/Getty

Leading pro-Brexit Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has slammed Theresa May’s government for seemingly breaking an election promise and moving towards tax hikes to fund Britain’s socialised healthcare system.

The representative for North-East Somerset, who leads Parliament’s powerful anti-Brussels European Research Group, pointed out that the tax burden in the United Kingdom is already at a 40-year high.

The Tories had promised not to raise taxes before the general election, and Mr Rees-Mogg argued Britain should use the opportunity of Brexit to pursue a “pro-business” policy of low taxes.

Interviewed on the BBC’s This Week, he spoke out against the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip ‘Remainer Phil’ Hammond for the plan to tax citizens even more to fund the struggling National Health Service (NHS).

When host Andrew Neil asked if he accepted that taxes would have to rise to fund NHS spending, he replied: “No. I think it’s the wrong approach. I think we need to grow the economy to pay for what we want to do.

“We are at a 40-year high of tax receipts by the government proportionate to GDP. This country seems to have a limit on the amount of tax it is willing to pay.”

Mr Rees-Mogg added: “The highest figure from the 1950s is 41.9 percent… and we are heading back towards those levels. We have 37 percent forecast, possibly going to 38 percent, and we’ve got to grow the economy.

“That means, particularly in the context of Brexit, taking decisions that are pro-business; help businesses compete, and make us more efficient.”

Earlier this month, Mrs May announced the NHS will receive an extra £20 billion a year by 2023, paid for partly by the Brexit dividend — savings on contributions to the EU budget — and partly through borrowing and taxes.

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