General election 2017: Theresa May refuses to rule out tax hikes ahead of Conservative manifesto publication

maymarr1BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May will not make “specific proposals” ruling out tax rises in the run-up to the general election on June 8.

May said in an interview on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show said she would not promise to not increase taxes — something the Tories pledged in the 2010 general election — unless she was “absolutely sure” they could be delivered.

“We have absolutely no plans to increase the level of tax. But I’m also very clear that I do not want to make specific proposals on taxes unless I am absolutely sure that I can deliver on those,” she said.

However, immediately following her appearance on the BBC show, she went on Peston on Sunday on ITV and ruled out a VAT rise, saying “we won’t be increasing VAT.”

During David Cameron’s premiership in Britain, before May took over as prime minister in July last year, the Conservatives promised to never raise certain taxes.

At the same time, the previous Conservative-led government promised to not to cut health, education, or foreign aid spending and also “triple lock” for pensions. That means they rise in line with wages, inflation, or by 2.5%— whichever is at the highest number.

Some said that this made the system practically designed to become unaffordable and with the promises of not raising taxes in certain areas, it painted former Chancellor George Osborne in a corner. This was because Cameron and Osborne aggressively pursued cost cutting in order to eliminate the government’s budget deficit and return the UK to a surplus.

Osborne had planned to balance the government’s budget by 2020, spending only as much as it collected in taxes. However, he abandoned the plan shortly after the Brexit vote.

Currently, Theresa May’s ruling Conservative party are tipped for a landslide victory in the June 8 general election. All polls show she has a huge lead over the main opposition Labour and polling points towards a 100 seat majority.

Meanwhile, Corbyn’s Labour party is substantially behind the Tories in the polls. But the bright side is that the latest set of data on Saturday shows that he has stopped bleeding support and is actually increasing voting intention.

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