Boris Johnson hints at tax rises to pay for coronavirus but warns UK must stay 'competitive' after Brexit

BORIS Johnson has hinted at tax rises to pay for the coronavirus but insisted the UK must remain “competitive” after Brexit.

The Prime Minister today refused to rule out tax hikes, and warned Brits face a “generational challenge” due to the pandemic.

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Making a major speech in Dudley this morning, the PM was asked directly about tax rises.

He said: “You have to wait and see what Rishi has to say.

“I think we understand the debate, you know where my instincts are and what I would like to do, they are of course to cut taxes wherever you possibly can.

“The difficulty is we have a generational challenge now.”

The PM explained he wanted to "take our country forward", but suggested tax hikes could put off much needed investors after Brexit.

He explained: “You need to make sure as we leave the EU, the fiscal environment has to be as competitive as it possibly can be.

“I want brilliant British ideas being translated into Brilliant british companies. 

“Billion pound british companies, not just disappearing to America or China or whenever else. 

“That requires a competitive approach to taxation.”

It came in a wide-ranging speech where the PM also promised thousands of discounted homes for first-time buyers in a multi-billion pound package.

Boris vowed to get the country back on track with a "New Deal" programme of building and investment – and fast tracking £5billion of spending dubbed Project Speed.

The PM vowed a Roosevelt-style plan to pick up the country and get it going again after three months of shutdown.

And he announced what he said was "the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War" by cutting red tape to revitalise our high streets.

He told voters in the Blue Wall seats the Government is on a “mission to unite and level up” the UK.

Alongside his programme he revealed £12billion of funding for a homes plan that will support up to 180,000 new affordable homes for ownership and rent over the next 8 years.

Included in that will be a 1,500 unit pilot of ‘First Homes’ to people buying a home for the first time – at a 30% discount.

  • New building rules will allow empty buildings to be transformed into new homes without the red tape – known as 'Project Speed'
  • Old retail buildings can be turned into cafés or other services without requiring planning permission – in a boost for Britain's high streets
  • £1.5billion will be spent on hospital repairs
  • £1bn to fund 10-year school rebuilding programme and £560m school upgrades and repairs
  • Some £900million will be allocated to “shovel ready” projects, mainly in the Midlands and North
  • Vowed to plant 30,000 hectares of trees

The PM said today: "We will build fantastic new homes on brownfields sites and other areas, with better transport and other infrastructure, that could be suitable and right for development.

"We will address that intergenerational injustice and help young people get people the housing ladder the way their parents and grandparents could.

"We will build better, we will build greener, and faster."



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