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No tax rises to meet deficit – Osborne

Tax rises will not be needed to meet deficit reduction targets after 2015 if the Conservatives win the next election, Chancellor George Osborne has stated.

Borrowing could be cut by spending cuts alone, he said.

“Tax increases are not required to achieve [further consolidation]”, Osborne said, and this “can be achieved with spending reductions”.

He added: “I'm a low-tax Conservative who believes we could have lower taxes, but I think they should be sustainably lower. I'm not for deficit-financed tax cuts, that you end up having to increase taxes later to clear up the mess you have made of the public finances.”

Lib Dem leader and deputy minister Nick Clegg told BBC News: “I actually think there should be some increases in taxes for people at the very top.”

Shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie said: “The reason why there's still going to be a big deficit after the next election is George Osborne's total failure on growth in this parliament.

“This economic failure means the Government's plans will have to be Labour's starting point, but we will make different choices.

“For example, we are looking at giving middle and lower income families a tax cut by introducing a 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by a mansion tax on the wealthiest.

“But George Osborne's priority should be getting strong economic growth this year and next year. More growth now would mean a better situation on the public finances after 2015.”

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