George Osborne on the defensive after stealth tax criticism

The chancellor has denied unflattering comparisons to Gordon Brown.

by Rebecca Smith
Credit: altogetherfool/Flickr
Credit: altogetherfool/Flickr

Businesses weren't hugely impressed with the chancellor’s Autumn Statement, which was something of a mixed bag, but even they may have stopped short of likening his approach to that of Gordon Brown’s - the latest accusation from one of his colleagues.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the eccentric Conservative MP for North East Somerset, said the chancellor was taking a ‘high tax and stealth tax approach’ towards policymaking that was inconsistent with the government’s pledge to create a ‘lower tax society’.

Osborne has been forced to defend his two biggest tax-raising policies – an apprenticeship levy (more here on whether this is actually good for business) which is predicted to raise an optimistic £11.6bn over the next five years, and £6.2bn in extra revenues drummed up from handing powers to local authorities to raise council tax.

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