Big-hitter Boris Johnson yesterday demanded that bosses give employees a decent pay hike – but may raise taxes again to cope with the Covid pandemic.
Warning the price of disruption in forecourts and shops to free the country from cheap labor, the prime minister vowed to stick to his Brexit pledge to end mass migration by reducing British workers.
He launched a scathing attack on large businesses accustomed to low wages and a broken profit model dependent on imported workers.
He said there would be a period of adjustment but added: “That’s what I think we need to see.”
And he warned company owners that “people need to be paid decently” and it fell into the business to invest more – making jobs more attractive to Brits.
Some ministers also think Mr Johnson will lead from the front and may pledge to raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour as part of his big conference speech this week.
But there may still be a sting in the tail as they have repeatedly left the door open for a tax hike ahead of the next election – expected as soon as 2023.
Launching the Conservative Party convention in Manchester, the Prime Minister emphasized on BBC TV’s Andrew Marr Show: “You have no more fierce and ardent opponent of unnecessary tax increases than me. But we have to deal with a pandemic on that scale.” What this country has seen in our lifetime and not so long ago. He added: “If I can avoid it, I don’t want to raise taxes again, absolutely not, and neither will Rishi Sanak (Vice-Chancellor).”
‘Too much bureaucracy in the UK’
But his comments did little to quell Tory panic, with cabinet ministers and powerful lawmakers queuing to warn the government against any further escalation after next April’s national insurance raid.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss warned the prime minister not to increase taxes further, as she spoke from the sidelines of the conference.
Tori Darling urged her boss to end red tape instead of struggling families. She told delegates: “The way we’re going to do this is by growing the economy.”
He said the best way to increase tax revenue is through turbo-charging growth rather than ordering new charges. Ms Truss said: “There is a lot of bureaucracy in the UK and we need to use this opportunity, which is a stagnant moment, a fresh start to really do things differently. I think the Covid payouts That’s the way to get more money in the treasury.”
The leader of the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, said: “We must always ensure that the money spent by the state is spent efficiently and that the tax burden is reasonable and that we are at the upper reaches of that rationality.”
It came as the prime minister faced mounting Tory rebellion over plans to cut £20 a week from Universal Credit. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said he was concerned about the cuts.
There is too much bureaucracy in the UK and we need to use this opportunity to take what is a stagnant moment, a fresh start to really do things differently.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss
He said: “The team here is looking at what the government can do to reduce it. Are they going to make these cuts across the board equally for everyone? Because really, for example, 25 The £20 raise was far more significant for singles under the age of 25 than for single claimants under the age of 25.”
He suggested that housing benefits could be scrapped to reduce the impact on young people. Meanwhile, the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ganged up to demand immediate reconsideration.
Nicola Sturgeon, Mark Drakeford and Paul Givano Everyone wrote a letter to the PM, requesting him to intervene. He warned: “Your government is withdrawing this lifeline as the country is facing a significant livelihood crisis.”
Mr Johnson showed his fighting spirit during a tour of the HideOut youth zone in Manchester yesterday. He wore blue boxing gloves with the slogan “Build Back Better” and took a few swings in a punchbag.
The PM hopes this week’s gathering will be used to inflict a knockout blow on Labor rival Sir Keir Starmer. Mr Johnson looked hot with his collar down after wearing a white work shirt for his morning walk before the conference.
The gasping PM weathered the chilly conditions in his long sleeves and trademark Team GB shorts. Breathtaking, the PM later appeared for the interview in a similar shirt, although it is understood to have been a clean shirt.
highlights of the conference
- Today’s thought: Oliver Dowden, who was appointed Tory chairman last month, delighted party loyalists by saying: “Today’s Labor Party is running through it like a stick of Brighton Rock.”
- joke of the Day: US pollster Frank Luntz mocked the PM’s rising sibling, saying: “Anarchy in the UK and US means different things. In the UK it means Father’s Day at 10 Downing St.”
- hero of the day: Lord David Frost, who negotiated our way out of the EU, will channel his Brexit enthusiasm and say: “Our long nightmare of EU membership is over. The British renaissance has begun.”
- Villain of the Day: Tory minister Zack’s brother, multi-millionaire Ben Goldsmith, suggested that people wash their bottles with hoses, adding that the “bomb gun” would save them from “periodic loo paper panic-buying”.
- Wicked Whisper: Things got steamy on the opening night of the conference as two amateur Tories broke into the handicapped loo at Manchester’s posh Midland Hotel after sipping a few glasses of Plank. . .