Suella Braverman blasts Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget, as Tory civil war deepens

It’s not just opposition parties and trade unions that are lambasting the Spring Budget. Tories are too.

Suella Braverman, the sacked home secretary who craves the Tory crown, has blasted this week’s Spring Budget, saying it will do little to convince voters that the Conservatives are on their side.

The Budget was considered among observers to have been something of a last chance saloon for the Tories, who are now 27 points behind Labour, as the latest opinion poll shows. But according to Braverman, one of the party’s most high-profile figures, it ‘lacked something vivid,’ and ‘doesn’t tell the British people that we’re on their side and that work really pays.’

On the day of the Budget, she had told the Commons that ministers should have cut income tax to help a ‘broader range of taxpayer.’ Dodging questions about whether she will support the prime minister going into the general election, the former home secretary said: “Ultimately at the moment it looks like we’re in a dire position. It looks like some very good Tory MPs are going to lose their seats.”

When pressed about her own popularity, with YouGov polling ranking her with a -35-approval rating, worse than Sunak’s, Braverman said: “Ultimately personalities are kind of irrelevant. This is about the British people.

“My preference would have been a 2p cut off the basic rate of income tax and an increase in the personal allowance and a raising of the income tax threshold – to properly fix a tax regime which has become, I’m sad to say, a disincentive to work and endeavour in too many cases,” she told the Budget debate in the Commons.

Meanwhile Priti Patel, Suella Braverman’s predecessor, welcomed the Budget and the 2p National Insurance cut. Following the Chancellor’s statement, the MP for Witham, who was home secretary from 2019 to 2022, said the Conservatives will ‘pave the way’ for the abolition of National Insurance.

Talking to GB News’ host Patrick Christys, Patel said: “There are lots of tax measures that I would personally like to see. Your viewers will have a whole shopping list, I’ve got no doubt about that.

“We’ve got the highest tax burden in 70 years. That is a fact. Taxes are too high. Taxes have been going up on that basis. It’s far more equitable to bring taxes down for working people and working families. That’s why I’m very pro the National Insurance cut, by the way. I think this government will be the government that will literally pave the way for the abolition of National Insurance.”

The diverging views from two recent former home secretaries, both of whom are considered to the right of the party, is yet further testimony of just how divided the Tories are.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Stuart Mitchell – Creative Commons

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