Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s spring Budget “is going to impede growth”, the DUP chief whip has warned.
Sammy Wilson argued the “real tax burden on households and on businesses and on the economy is increasing”.
Speaking in the Commons, the MP for East Antrim said: “Sometimes when you listen to the rosy rhetoric from the despatch box and then delve into the detail, the gloss comes off some of the picture which has been painted.”
He raised concerns over personal income tax, adding: “We find over the next two years, personal income tax, the take is going to go up by nearly 20%.
On Government help for small businesses, he argued: “When we look at the figure for business rates over the next two years – 25% increase in the take from business rates.
“Overall, during the next two years we’re going to see tax receipts across the economy going up by 10% … So the real tax burden on households and on businesses and on the economy is increasing.”
He went on: “When we look at the rhetoric and then look at the detail, we find that rather than being a Budget for growth, because you can’t tax your way to growth, this is a Budget which is going to impede growth.
“Yet we know that if we’re going to finance public services, if we’re going to get our debt down, if we’re going to be able to finance our debt, then we have to grow the economy, if we’re going to make people better off.”
He added: “I happen to belong to a party which believes that low taxation is the best way of growing an economy. It’s right to allow people and businesses to spend their money as they see fit.”