Opinion: Sajid Javid has a unique opportunity to advance freedom - by cutting taxes - The Cabinet

This article was first published on The Cabinet.

Sajid Javid has been on a gradual but inevitable upward trajectory in government for some time. Our new Chancellor first entered Cabinet back in 2012 and has been slowly but surely working his way towards the top ever since. Despite being a senior Remain-backing member of the Cameron crew, Javid has been such a convincing convert to the Leave cause – there were even reports that he privately supported Leave himself – that he has now been entrusted with the Brexit purse strings.

Evidently, though, Javid will be hoping to stay in Number 11 long after 31 October. As a result, his vision for the British economy surely stretches far beyond Brexit. If the Prime Minister is successful in taking us out of the EU by Hallowe’en – which he will be – then the all-consuming issue of Europe will finally cease hogging our political bandwidth, allowing us to refocus on acute domestic issues and, delightfully, settle in for a long term of freedom-loving Conservative government.

Being in control of our economic policy at this pivotal time in Britain’s national history, Javid has a unique opportunity to advance freedom – primarily, by slashing taxes. There has already been talk of an emergency budget, which would not be entirely out of place given the unique nature of our political circumstances. That would present as good an opportunity as ever to advance liberty in our great nation by making this long-overdue move.

The tax burden in Britain is at an all-time high. We might be richer than ever before, but our economic growth is being gratuitously stifled by our crippling and debilitating tax bills. On average, we spend five months of the year working for the state rather than ourselves. Cutting taxes would make life easier for everyone in the short term and give a boot up the backside to long-term economic growth. This is in addition, of course, to the basic principle of allowing people to keep the money they earn. Perhaps crucially, cutting taxes would also make our transition out of the EU that little bit smoother by enticing investors to keep their capital flowing into Britain.

Many Tories – especially the younger ones, whose votes will be badly needed when the next general election rears its ugly head – were profoundly disheartened when bookies’ favouriteLiz Truss was not made Chancellor. While she is busy promoting Global Britain on the world stage through a barnstorming free trade push, the burden falls on Javid – and his new minion, and Truss’s replacement at the Treasury, Rishi Sunak – to do what loyal freedom-fighter Liz would have done for taxpayers here at home.

There is no shortage of ideas within the party to make this happen. Take, for example, Sam Gyimah’s brilliant plan, from his tragically brief candidature in the leadership contest, to unilaterally cancel five of the most restrictive taxes currently in place. The blueprint includes, for instance, the Nigel Lawson-style removal of caps on personal allowance withdrawals and annual investment allowances.

Simple initiatives like these, perhaps combined with a further knock to corporation tax, would work wonders to stimulate investment in the post-Brexit British economy, not to mention relieving a colossal amount of financial strain from hardworking families. An economically freer Britain is within touching distance, and this Conservative government should be the one to make it a reality.