Sir James Dyson has criticised Rishi Sunak’s economic policies for keeping Britain in a state of Covid inertia and urged him to cut taxes to stimulate growth.
The inventor and entrepreneur said that it appeared as though “growth has become a dirty word” in Downing Street and urged the prime minister to “incentivise private innovation” in the spring budget due in March. “Hard work and sacrifice should be a vote winner, not an electoral liability,” he wrote in a letter to The Daily Telegraph. “But growth has become a dirty word and an idea too risky to contemplate.”
He added: “Now the pandemic has passed, private sector enterprise and innovation must be freed to generate the growth and create the wealth which are essential to get the country back on its feet.”
Dyson, 75, a Brexit supporter, said that the private sector was being handicapped and bemoaned the increase in corporation tax and the current level of national insurance. He said government had yet to properly direct workers back to the office and this had “badly damaged the country’s work ethic”.
His criticism comes as senior Tory MPs urged Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, to cut taxes or risk losing the next general election with the Conservatives lagging behind Labour in the polls.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former party leader, told the Daily Mail: “We have got to get growth going. This government will sink without trace if we don’t get growth going by the middle of this year — we won’t have a hope of winning the election.”
Sir John Redwood, a former Tory minister, said: “We cannot address the issue of growth without some tax cuts. They must be affordable, of course — but the best way to bring borrowing down and boost revenues is to grow the economy.”
On Tuesday night the Conservative Growth Group, which includes several supporters of the former prime minister Liz Truss, met for the first time to discuss how best to make the case for lower taxes. Sunak has offered to meet the group, whose existence was revealed in The Times on Saturday. Truss did attend the group’s inaugural drinks reception but it is understood that she does not intend to take a leading role.