Sunak and Hunt have a talent for raising taxes – it’ll be their greatest legacy | Personal Finance | Finance newsbhunt


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak never had an easy task on his hands, cleaning up the mess left behind by predecessor ‘Calamity’ Liz Truss. Today would be a tough time for any party in power, given the multiple crises we face.

The aftermath of the pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, skyrocketing interest rates and the Israel-Hamas conflict have spread misery throughout the world.

Sunak cannot blame Keir Starmer’s Labour Party for any of these problems, as the Tories have been in power for 13 years with few positives to show for its stint in power.

Can you name one thing it’s got right? A policy that the Tories have implemented with gusto, and carried through with great success?

I’ve just hit on one, and I think it’s only right to give Sunak and his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt every ounce of credit for it.

Because together, they’ve proved world class at raising taxes. They couldn’t have done more to squeeze money out of taxpayers, and voters need to be reminded of that fact.

Latest HMRC figures show income tax bills have jumped 12 percent over the last year to a record £262billion.

That is giving the Treasury an extra £29billion to play with, from income tax alone.

As Neela Chauhan, partner at UHY Hacker Young, puts it: “The Government has been looking for a way to raise revenue – they’ve found it.”

If only the government was a successful at everything else. They’d stroll the next election.

Just imagine if Sunak had been looking for a way to reform the NHS – and found it. Or if he’d been working hard to slash government waste and red tape – and found it.

Just imagine if Sunak had been looking for a way to end the rail strikes, smash inflation, stop the boats and slash our energy bills – and found it.

Sadly, he hasn’t found a way to do any of these things, which leaves today’s sky-high tax burden his greatest legacy. Millions will remember him for it.

Sunak and Hunt have put their hearts into it. Remember the glint in Hunt’s eyes as he crushed us with austerity and saved us all from Liz Truss and the bond market?

He was enjoying himself, and with reason. We all like doing things we’re good at, and Hunt has been particularly good at hiking taxes.

Not just income taxes, either.

He’s also been great at boosting revenues from National Insurance, inheritance tax, capital gains tax, dividend taxes and more.

Yet Sunak and Hunt are modest men. They hope we won’t notice. I’d like to assure them that we do.

READ MORE: Treasury minister refuses to rule out tax rises in autumn statement

Sunak and Hunt have taken the art of stealth taxes to a new level, lifting the nation’s tax bills to a 70-year high.

You’d think the Labour Party would applaud them. They’re desperate to take power and raise taxes themselves. Yet not a word of praise from that quarter.

If Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves proves half as efficient at generating revenues for the Treasury as Sunak and Hunt, her party will be applauding her to the echo.

So next time you hear somebody moan about those useless, incompetent Tories, remind them of this. This administration is top drawer at raising taxes. It’s amazing what politicians can do, if they really, really try.

Labour will have to work hard to beat Hunt’s tax blitz if it wins the next election, but I’m sure they’ll give it a jolly good go.


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