Theresa May on not raising VAT, tax pledges, welfare and Brexit

  • Video report by ITV News political correspondent Angus Walker

Theresa May has said the Conservative government will not increase VAT if they win the General Election.

In an interview with ITV's Peston on Sunday, the prime minister said: "We won't be increasing VAT."

Mrs May also signalled she will scrap a flagship "tax lock" pledge which also rules out increases to income tax and national insurance.

But she stressed that her party has "no plans" to increase the levels of income tax, adding: "We absolute want to reduce taxes on working families.

"I think it's important that we look at the overall burden of desire, my instinct and what I absolutely want to be able to do is reduce taxes on working families."

Speaking earlier on the programme, Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell also said his party does not want to raise VAT.

In the wide-ranging interview, the prime minister also discussed :

  • Welfare changes

When asked about the impact of welfare changes that have affected poorer people, Mrs May said: "I think work is the best route out of poverty."

She added: "Yes we need a system that does provide support for those who need it, but I think we do need to incentivise people to get into the workplace.

"We also have to think when we're looking at welfare for the taxpayers who are paying for those welfare benefits."

  • Hopes for a country 'that works for everyone'

Mrs May also said she wants to see a country that works for everyone, adding: "That's about developing a stronger economy. You only do that with a strong and stable government.

"I want to see a country where people are able to get on in life and see a better future for themselves, their children, and grandchildren."

The prime minister also said the Conservatives "absolute want to reduce taxes on working families".

  • The prospect of Brexit without a EU deal

Mrs May also reiterated her insistence that leaving the EU with no deal would be better than taking a "bad deal".

Asked if she still believed it, the PM told ITV's Peston on Sunday: "Yes I do.

"I wouldn't have said it if I didn't believe that.

"But what I also believe is that with the right strong hand in negotiations, we can get a good deal for the UK from these negotiations."