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Former Foreign Minister Johnson assaults government on taxes, rail

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson launched a two-pronged assault on Britain’s government on Sunday, criticising recommendations it could enhance taxes to fund providers and its administration of a high-speed rail mission.

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers a speech on Brexit on the Policy Exchange in central London, Britain, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

In his weekly column within the Telegraph newspaper, Johnson, bookmakers’ favorite to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May, referred to as on the government to keep away from turning on the “hard-pressed taxpayer” for cash to fund public providers, and as a substitute embrace Brexit to spur a “dynamic economy”.

Johnson has turn into a thorn within the aspect of May since he resigned as overseas minister over her Brexit plan, utilizing newspaper columns to strain her government over the whole lot from social and financial coverage to Britain’s departure from the European Union in what some lawmakers see as a management bid.

Earlier, he was criticised for accusing May of wrapping “a suicide vest around” Britain and handing the detonator to the EU along with her plans for Brexit – the most important shift in British overseas and commerce coverage for nearly half a century.

“We do need to spend more on the NHS (National Health Service). We must find the extra 20 billion pounds ($25.84 billion) that the chancellor (finance minister) has rightly promised. We do need to step up our investments in the police and schools and other vital public services,” he wrote.

“But I am afraid I am not convinced that the answer is immediately to turn to the hard-pressed taxpayer, when Britain is now by no means a low-tax economy compared with several other jurisdictions in Europe.”

Britain ought to look to the United States, he mentioned, utilizing what he referred to as an retro argument to focus on its excessive progress charges, file low employment and what he described as a government that “wants to liberate and energise people”.

Earlier this 12 months, May pledged to extend funding for the NHS by 20 billion kilos ($26.57 billion) over the following 5 years however mentioned among the funding would want to come from greater taxes or extra borrowing.

Johnson additionally mentioned that “someone should pay a price” for the difficulties with Britain’s multi-billion pound rail mission High Speed 2, which has been delayed, seen prices rise and put strain on Transport Minister Chris Grayling.

The figurehead for Britain’s marketing campaign to go away the EU, Johnson once more urged the government to be assured over Brexit, saying the “direful predictions” for the financial system earlier than the 2016 referendum had not turned out to be true.

“Now is the time for this Conservative government to show how a post-Brexit Britain will be a happy and dynamic economy that fosters enterprise, that rewards the strivers and the innovators, and where people can hope to take home more of their pay to their families,” he wrote.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Peter Cooney

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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