'Treasury Minister Liz Truss said her party must show more courage in promoting tax cuts for the well-off today as she made a pitch to be Boris Johnson's Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Ms Truss, an ally of the Tory leadership frontrunner, said the party had failed to make the case for sweeping rate cuts for 10 years, which was why plans he unveiled last month had attracted 'flak'.
Mr Johnson has put forward plans for a package of tax cuts, including for people earning more than £50,000.
The move led to a clash with Jeremy Hunt in the televised debate, with the Foreign Secretary claiming it was sending a signal that the Tories are 'a party of the rich'.
The current Treasury Chief Secretary Ms Truss acknowledged she was 'not yet at Number 11' - the home of the Chancellor - but joked about her ambitions for the role.
Current incumbent Philip Hammond is widely expected to leave office when Theresa May is replaced in a fortnight.
At a Westminster lunch Ms Truss, who is said to face competition for the role from Home Secretary Sajid Javid, said: 'The reason that Boris is getting flak for this is that the Conservative Party haven't been prepared to make these arguments for at least a decade.'
After saying Mrs Thatcher's tax-cutting chancellor Lord Lawson was her favourite occupant of Number 11, she defended Mr Johnson's plans.
'If people feel, on an income of £55,000 that they have entered the higher rate tax band and that's not fair, then that's a problem and it can stop people wanting to aspire to earn more and be more successful,' she said.
Mr Johnson's proposal was part of a package and the Government had already cut income tax for lower earners, she said.
'If we are never, ever prepared to say we are going to cut taxes for people on earnings of £60,000 I think that's a problem,' she said.
'You have to look at the tax system as a whole.'
Read more: Tories must be more bold about tax cuts for the RICH says Treasury minster Liz Truss as she makes a pitch to be prime minister Boris's chancellor by calling for a reduction in stamp duty and corporate levies
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21 July 2019
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