Labour's shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds today claimed Rishi Sunak is planning to hike taxes now so he can cut them before the next general election in 2024.
Reports suggested that Mr Sunak had told Tory MPs that he wanted to get tax increases out of the way long before the next national poll.
Mr Sunak dismissed the reports and said he did not recognise them but Ms Dodds pounced to accuse him of being driven by 'party-political considerations' ahead of Wednesday's Budget.
Labour's shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds today claimed Rishi Sunak is planning to hike taxes now so he can cut them before the next general election
It has been claimed that Mr Sunak is planning to increase the rate of corporation tax from 19 per cent to as high as 25 per cent over the course of the current Parliament as he tries to balance the books in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
A Cabinet source told The Sunday Times that Mr Sunak 'wanted corporation tax up from 19 to 25 per cent in one go'.
The source said: 'His argument was, "Let's do it all now as far away from the election as possible". The PM and his team blocked that.'
Mr Sunak was asked during an appearance on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show about reports that he had told Tory MPs that he was going to increase taxes now so he could cut them before the next election.
But the Chancellor replied: 'No I don’t recognise that and I think anyone – well given the shock that we’ve had over the last year and the economic uncertainty we face it would be brave for people to know exactly what was going to happen in three years.
'What I’m focused on right now is preparing a Budget that provides support for people and businesses and families through the remaining stages of this crisis.'
Ms Dodds was asked about the corporation tax proposal during an interview on Sky News as she said: 'Well, with respect, what I just said is that we would welcome that longer term debate around corporation tax, I just said that it has been concerning how the Conservative Party has pulled us away from the mainstream on Corporation Tax.
Mr Sunak said 'it would be brave for people to know exactly what was going to happen in three years'
'But why are they focused on this now, why are they focused on increasing Council Tax directly for families right now?
'They are focused on it because the Chancellor has said to his MPs that he wants to get tax changes out of the way now so that they can have a clear run through to the next general election.
'Instead, they should be focused on promoting our economy and securing our recovery.
'Yes, let’s have that long-term discussion about tax particularly to protect our high street businesses but let’s not pretend that the Conservative Party is doing that right now because it wants to secure our recovery, it seems to be driven by party-political considerations.'