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Michael Gove calls for tax cut ahead of next election – putting him at odds with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt | Politics News

Michael Gove has called for a tax cut before the next general election – putting him at odds with the chancellor on the first day of Conservative Party conference.

Jeremy Hunt told The Times newspaper on Saturday that the government was “not in a position to talk about tax cuts at all”, and needed to focus on getting to a place in the economy where ministers could “credibly” offer reductions before making offers to voters.

Politics hub: Tory conference kicks off in Manchester

But speaking to Sky News’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips, the levelling up secretary said he would “like to see the tax burden reduced by the next election”.

Mr Gove said he wanted the cuts fall on work to “incentivise people to work harder”, adding: “We should make sure that [workers] are better rewarded for the enterprise, effort and endeavour they put in.”

Asked about his remarks on the BBC, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I am a Conservative, of course I want to cut taxes.”

But he didn’t commit to any reductions, instead saying: “The best tax cut that I can deliver for the British people right now is to halve inflation.”

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty arriving in Manchester
Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty arrived in Manchester on Saturday.

Mr Gove’s comments come as Tory party members gather in Manchester for their annual conference, with a range of topics set to be debated from education and the NHS, through to HS2 and Ukraine.

A number of stories have already broken overnight, including:

• New levelling up funding for “overlooked” British towns

• Pressure from a former leadership contender for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights

• Reports an election could be called when inflation falls below 3%

• Attacks by a minister on celebrities criticising government policy

More than 30 Tory MPs – including former prime minister Liz Truss and ex-home secretary Dame Priti Patel – have also signed a pledge to not back any further tax hikes.

Ms Truss, whose unfunded tax cuts in her mini budget last year triggered market turmoil, took to X – formally known as Twitter – on Friday to say: “We should always seek to reduce the tax burden, especially when there’s so much pressure on family budgets.”

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The chancellor has pledged to end the “vicious circle of ever-rising taxes” on Saturday, promising to reform welfare and stop overspending in public services.

But the government focus for now is on cutting inflation after its record highs since the exit of Ms Truss from Number 10.

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