PM still supports principle of abolishing top rate of tax

Liz Truss wouldn't rule out scrapping the 45% rate. Credit: PA

When I asked the PM just now whether she still supported the abolition of the top rate of tax as a matter of principle, she said “I do support a lower simpler tax system”, though the plan is dead for now.

She reiterated that she hasn’t decided whether to uprate benefits in line with 10% inflation, but won’t sack Penny Mordaunt for a breach of collective Cabinet responsibility in her call for universal credit to be inflation-proofed.

I talked to her about the collapse of unity and discipline in her party under her leadership, and she said: “We are working with our MPs, this is a team, this the Conservative team, putting forward our policies for the country.”

The problem she has is the manager conspicuously does not command the full support of the team.

I asked: “People say, one of your weaknesses perhaps is you just don't take advice, that you don't want to hear [advice] until it's a bit too late?”

She replied: “I took the advice [on reversing the plan to abolish the top tax rate] very quickly, I listened to what people had to say. We made that decision very rapidly, not to move ahead because it was becoming a distraction.”