Michael Gove could vote against Truss’s ‘profoundly concerning’ tax plans


onservative MP and former Cabinet minister Michael Gove said he is “profoundly” concerned about Liz Truss’s vast tax cuts as he hinted he could vote against the plans.

The veteran of government, who is influential in the Tory party, criticised using borrowing to pay for slashing taxes as being “not Conservative” as the party’s conference began in Birmingham.

Mr Gove welcomed the Prime Minister acknowledging she had made mistakes around the mini-budget but said she displayed an “inadequate realisation” of the scale of the problem.

He told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg show he is “profoundly” concerned that Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is paying for £45billion of tax cuts through increased borrowing.

Mr Gove said cutting the 45 per cent income tax rate for the highest earners was a “display of the wrong values”.

He even suggested he could vote against the plans in the House of Commons, as Conservative critics eye a possible rebellion.

“I don’t believe it’s right,” he said of the budget when pressed on the programme.

He welcomed Ms Truss admitting mistakes over the financial announcement, after she told the same programme they could have been better “laying the ground” for the plans that have sparked a backlash on the financial and mortgage markets.

But he said there remains “an inadequate realisation at the top of Government about the scale of change required”.

Mr Gove said there were “two major things” that were problematic with the plans set out by the Prime Minister and Chancellor.

“The first is the sheer risk of using borrowed money to fund tax cuts.

“That’s not Conservative,” he said.

The second, Mr Gove argued, was the move to cut the top rate of income tax and axe the cap on bankers’ bonuses “at a time when people are suffering”.

In sum, Mr Gove said: “It is still the case that there is an inadequate realisation at the top of government about the scale of change required.

“Yes, the energy package was the most important thing in the fiscal event, but broadly 35 per cent of the additional money that we are borrowing is not to cut energy costs, it is for unfunded tax cuts.”