The latest unemployment figures should send a chill down Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spine

Don’t max tax

THE new unemployment figures should send a chill down Rishi Sunak’s spine.

His upcoming Budget could so easily make matters worse.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's upcoming Budget could so easily make unemployment worse

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s upcoming Budget could so easily make unemployment worseCredit: AFP or licensors

The Chancellor is focused on jobs, and rightly so.

But almost every day brings a new leak of a worrying Treasury plan to raise this tax or that.

Our views on the madness of hammering working people with extra fuel duty are well known.

But hiking corporation tax from the low levels which helped the Tories conjure a job-creation miracle in the last recession is similarly crazy.

Unemployment is at a five-year high. Once the furlough ends, the dole queue is likely to lengthen dramatically.

Mr Sunak must learn from history.

In the decades after World War Two, the US and West Germany encouraged the free market with lower taxes and far less state intervention.

Our views on the madness of hammering working people with extra fuel duty are well known

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Our views on the madness of hammering working people with extra fuel duty are well knownCredit: Alamy

Britain maintained high taxes and a big state controlling vast swathes of the economy.

America prospered. West Germany rose from its ruins to become Europe’s powerhouse.

By the 1970s, Britain was Europe’s basket case, begging a handout from the International Monetary Fund.

In the post-Covid era we could raise taxes, maintain the State at pandemic emergency levels, as Labour would love, and entrench our decline for decades.

Instead we must use low taxes to create jobs, investment and growth and capitalise on our new independence outside the EU.

Bonkers bills

IT is scandalous that a millionaire in a London mansion pays less council tax than someone in a two-up, two-down in Durham.

Indeed it is outrageous that the highest council taxes are across the Red Wall seats, formerly Labour’s heartland.

It is outrageous that the highest council taxes are across the Red Wall seats, formerly Labour’s heartland

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It is outrageous that the highest council taxes are across the Red Wall seats, formerly Labour’s heartlandCredit: Alamy

It’s no coincidence. Those seats turned blue in 2019, but the ten worst-hit areas are still run by Labour councils, or were until recently.

And Labour’s record on keeping local taxes low is dismal.

Designing a new system is complex. The start is surely to end the absurdity of basing bills on house prices 30 years old.

A national revaluation is inevitable unless we are to use 1991’s values forever.

It’s the first step to fairer local taxes and crucial to the Tories’ levelling-up agenda.

Class clowns

NOTHING thrills the hard-Left National Education Union like the possibility of stopping Boris Johnson reopening schools.

The welfare of kids or their parents is barely ever considered.

Nothing thrills the National Education Union like the possibility of stopping Boris Johnson reopening schools

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Nothing thrills the National Education Union like the possibility of stopping Boris Johnson reopening schoolsCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd

The priority is always their members — and weaponising them against the Tories they hate.

The NEU previously objected to reopening schools before child poverty is “ended”.

Its new excuse is it’s simply too hard to get pupils back and a Covid testing regime in place before Easter.

Most teachers do a wonderful job.

They can surely find better representation than this Corbynite wrecking crew.

Boris Johnson hints at furlough extension as he promises not to ‘pull the rug out’ on economic support

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