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Gove tells Truss to abandon plan to scrap 45% top rate of tax after PM admits ground should have been ‘laid better’ for mini-budget – live | Politics


Gove says government should abandon plan to scrap 45% top rate of tax

Gove is now taking questions from the audience. A man says Gove said the party should come together after the leadership contest. Is is actually following his own advice?

Yes, says Gove.

He says he has two concerns about the mini-budget: the tax cuts being unfunded, and the abolition of the 45% top rate of tax. It would be “wise to reflect” on those policies, he says.

Q: You mean they should be dropped?

Gove says the abolition of the 45% is wrong. The government should drop the idea, he says.

This was implied by what he said on the BBC’S Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, but he is being more explicit here.

Key events

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Q: You said there would be 18 months until the next election. Do you mean it will be in May 2024.

Who know when it will be, says Berry.

You probably know, says Hope.

Berry says in the normal course of events it would be about 18 months away.

Q: Why should people in red wall seats back cutting the 45% top rate of tax

Because red wall seats will benefit most from extra growth, Berry says.

He says it is a mistake to think the red wall votes wanted a Labour-lite government. They wanted a Conservative government.

When people feel better off, they will support the government.

Q: Has the party failed to explain the need for the change?

Berry says it could have been done better.

Michael Gove has finished taking questions at the Telegraph fringe. Christopher Hope is now questioning Jake Berry, the Conservative party chairman.

Q: You are the 11th party chairman in 13 years. How long will you be in your job?

Berry says he hopes to stay in post until the election.

Q: What is your message to Michael Gove, who says the 45% top rate of tax should stay?

Berry says getting rid of it is the right decision. He says under Labour the top rate was 40%. Decisions will be made at the time about what will happen to people who vote against.

UPDATE: From Mail Online’s David Wilcock

Rees-Mogg booed by protesters shouting ‘Tory scum’ as he arrives at conference

Jacob Rees-Mogg was booed loudly by hundreds of protesters in Birmingham, PA Media reports. PA says:

The business secretary was escorted by several police officers as he walked across Victoria Square, where demonstrators had gathered to vent their anger at the Government as the Tory conference gets under way in the city.

The crowd pursued him, jeering and booing, with some shouting “Tory scum”.

Demonstrators furious at Liz Truss’s economic plan are carrying signs reading “unelected, unaccountable, unhinged” and “wages up, bills down, Tories out”.

Jacob Rees-Mogg escorted by police as he arrived at the Tory conference.
Jacob Rees-Mogg escorted by police as he arrived at the Tory conference. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Q: Why are you opposed to increasing the number of grammar schools?

Gove says parents and students do not choose grammar schools; grammar schools choose students.

And this favours the better off, he says.

He says he wants grammar school standards to apply in all schools.

Q: Have you spoken to other Tory MPs about opposing the mini-budget. And what else should be dropped from it?

Gove says he has not spoken to colleagues about this.

On the second point, he says the OBR forecast needs to be published soon so that MPs can reach a balanced view on what should happen next.

Gove says government should abandon plan to scrap 45% top rate of tax

Gove is now taking questions from the audience. A man says Gove said the party should come together after the leadership contest. Is is actually following his own advice?

Yes, says Gove.

He says he has two concerns about the mini-budget: the tax cuts being unfunded, and the abolition of the 45% top rate of tax. It would be “wise to reflect” on those policies, he says.

Q: You mean they should be dropped?

Gove says the abolition of the 45% is wrong. The government should drop the idea, he says.

This was implied by what he said on the BBC’S Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, but he is being more explicit here.

Q: Are you in favour of a new royal yacht?

(Christopher Hope has led the Telegraph’s campaign for one.)

Gove says he is in favour of the idea in principle, but does not think it should be a priority for public spending at the moment.

Q: Are there parallels between Liz Truss and Jeremy Corbyn? Both of them did not get the support of a majority of their MPs.

No way, says Gove. He says Corbyn is “an eccentric, fringe figures with unsavoury friend and bonkerony views”. Truss is highly effective and very intelligent. People should not underestimate her, he says. She has ‘“formidable skills”.

He says he hopes she will correct course on one or two issues.

Q: Is the party imploding at the moment?

No, says Gove. Journalists have a tendancy to simply and exaggerate. The Tories have an opportunity to take stock and reflect, he says.

Gove says, despite all that has happened, he is still a Boris Johnson fan.

He says he is all in favour of growth. But so was George Osborne and Rishi Sunak.

He says one of Liz Truss’s strenghs is her ability to hone in on a truth, and focuse her intellectual strength on it.

Gove says he is “wary” of the decision to reverse the national insurance increase and scrap the planned corporation tax rise. But Liz Truss had a mandate for those decisions following the leadership contest.

But she did not have a mandate for abolishing the 45% top rate of tax, he says.

He says he welcomes the fact that Truss implied a “course correction” might be possible in her interview this morning. (That is not really what she implied.)

Q: How would you vote on that tax cut if the vote were tomorrow?

Gove says the vote is not tomorrow, so there is time for the situation to change.

Michael Gove says people voted for one nation government in 2019

Michael Gove, now seen by some as the leader of the Tory opposition to Liz Truss, is speaking at the Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics Live fringe meeting. “Chopper” is Christopher Hope.

Gove talks about being “released of the obligations of public service by the prime minister” (ie, sacked by Boris Johnson). Asked why he is doing so many fringe meetings this year, he says he was invited before he left the cabinet.

Q: Are you alarmed by the rightwing lurch of your party?

Gove says words like that do not descibe what is going on.

The majority that Johnson won in 2019 was “one nation majority”, he says. The party won the support of people who were not wealthy. They wanted to see a compassionate, one nation government.

Q: So Liz Truss does not have a mandate?

Gove says any PM has to respond to new circumstances. It was right to respond to the fuel crisis, and look at what can be done to promote growth.

But the governmnent must also look after the most vulnerable.

It will be “very, very, very difficult” to argue for welfare cuts when taxes are being cut for the rich.

It’s going to be very, very, very difficult to argue it’s right to reduce welfare when we’re also reducing tax for the wealthiest.

Tory chair Jake Berry says people facing higher fuel bills can cut consumption or get better job

In his interview with Sophy Ridge this morning on Sky, Jake Berry, the Conservative party chair, also said that, if people were having difficulty paying their fuel bills, they could either cut their consumption or get a better job. He was making a point about the need for the government to economise, and he said that was how households worked too. He said:

People know that when their bills arrive, they can either cut their consumption or they can get a higher salary, higher wages, go out there and get that new job.





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