Rishi Sunak today ruled out further tax hikes for millions of hard-pressed Britons from next year.
A silent chancellor will not say whether council tax or income tax increases are in the pipeline.
He defended the imposition of national insurance to plug the £12 billion NHS and social care budget black hole.
Mr Sunak insisted that the further tax burden on struggling Brits was “not something we did lightly”.
He continued: “It’s not something we want to do, and ideally we wouldn’t have to do anything like that again.”
Asked whether council tax could be increased to push social care, he said it would be wrong to “pre-empt” a decision due later this year.
And he added: “What people need to know is that we want to put more money into social care, so that’s the decision we made.”
The Local Government Association says councils need to find an additional £8 billion by 2024/25 due to the growing UK population.
It has warned that paying for more care could require a potentially double-digit tax hike, adding £500 to family bills.
Mr. Sunak was also put under pressure over the possibility of increasing income tax before the next election.
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He sidestepped the question and replied: “Recently we made an important announcement on tax and it was a difficult decision.
“But we made this decision because we wanted to make sure the NHS got significant funding to help make a strong recovery from the coronavirus.”
Mr Sunak later insisted that the Tories were dealing with taxation “fairly” and insisted he “can never comment on future tax policy”.
He said: “We’ve experienced this once in an expected 300-year economic shock and it’s going to have an impact.”
The Chancellor, who delivered his first speech as Chancellor at a Tory conference today, is under pressure on several fronts.
He and the Prime Minister have come under criticism for breaking his manifesto of not imposing taxes during this tenure in the office.
Mr Sunak is also facing intense pressure for a U-turn on plans to end the £20 raise for Universal Credit later this month.
There have been warnings that the move could push nearly a million people into poverty, many of whom are working for low wages.
Ministers have previously acknowledged that some may even face a choice between heating and food amid rising electricity prices.
But the chancellor insisted the elevation was only “to help people cope with the most acute phase of the coronavirus” and must go now.
He stressed that the poorest families could receive grants and other aid, including £500 million in the warm homes scheme.
Mr Sunak praised Britain’s economic recovery from the pandemic and a low unemployment rate, which has defied expectations.
Today he will “double down” on supporting businesses by announcing the expansion of a £500 million job support scheme
The chancellor said he was “literally throwing away the kitchen sink” to help get more Britons into higher-paying jobs.