Osborne: Taxes Will Have To Rise After Brexit
UK Chancellor George Osborne has said that the country will be poorer as a result of the Brexit vote and that there will "absolutely" have to be tax rises and spending cuts.
Osborne gave his first post-referendum interview on the BBC's Today show. He said that while he "certainly regret[s] the outcome," he will now do all he can "to help provide the country with a plan in this very difficult situation."
Prior to the vote Osborne had warned that leaving the European Union (EU) would leave a GBP30bn (USD40.2bn) a year "black hole" that would "require sharp and difficult tax rises" to fill, and an emergency budget shortly after the result. He had argued that "the sort of tax rises we could see include: a 2p rise in the basic rate of income tax, to 22 percent; a 3p rise in the higher rate, to 43 percent; five percent increases in duties on alcohol; [and] a five percent increase in the basic rate of inheritance tax, to 45 percent."
When prompted during his interview as to the likely date of the emergency budget, Osborne replied that "it's very clear that the country is going to be poorer as a result of what's happening to the economy." He added that "a crucial thing that is going to be required is providing fiscal stability," and that "we are absolutely going to have to provide fiscal security to people."
When pressed as whether this meant "tax rises, spending cuts," Osborne said, "yes, absolutely, but that decision will come under a new Prime Minister." He added that this cannot be done "right now," as the Conservative party is in the midst of a leadership contest, but hinted that changes may come at the Autumn Statement.
Osborne has ruled himself out of a leadership run. He said that his role in the next Cabinet will be the decision of whomever forms the new government.
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