BORIS Johnson told hard-up Brits to expect tax cuts in the upcoming Budget as he also lifted the lid on his approach to win an 11th hour Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister said Chancellor Sajid Javid would put more money in workers’ pockets in his financial plan for the nation expected next month.
After already ordering a massive spending spree on the NHS, schools and the police, the PM also signalled there would be more action to further freeze fuel duty or even reduce it.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun on the eve of his first speech to the Tory party conference as leader today in Manchester, Boris said: “We want a high wage, low tax economy.”
Questioned on whether that meant the income tax cuts that were a central pledge of his Tory leadership campaign were imminent, the PM — pictured preparing his speech — added: “We’ve got a Budget to deliver, you should wait and see.
“Saj is a great radical and he’ll want to do something for reducing the burden of taxation and stimulating growth. That’s what we want to see. That’s where we’re going.”
In a strong hint that fuel duty would be frozen again or cut, Boris also insisted that he understands the concerns of struggling motorists as he told them: “I hear you loud and clear.”
It came after Mr Javid previously told The Times he was in favour of low taxes and promised to spend on crime, health and schools.
But first, the PM revealed how he would sell his new plan for a Brexit deal to EU chiefs as well as MPs when he unveils it today. Mr Johnson declared of his major offer: “It’s New Deal or No Deal, because we must come out.”
Conceding he faces the toughest two weeks of his Premiership so far, Boris added: “It will be a tough old process in the next few days and we’ll have to work very hard. We have to we have to do our best to get it over the line. It’s something that our friends should definitely accept.
But he also opened up the chance for crucial wiggle room, revealing to The Sun that there is room for negotiation in his text.
While insisting his offer is “a very good deal”, in an answer to whether he was prepared to consider a counter-offer from Brussels, the PM said: “Well, we’ll look at anything, of course.”
Crucially, Boris also did not rule out accepting the current Irish border backstop — but with a time limit of a number of years attached to it to allow Britain to escape the EU’s rules.
That is a plan several Cabinet ministers are already pushing for him to accept. Pressed on a time-limited backstop, he replied: “Well, you know, let’s see where we get to.”
But he also spelt out his limits, as he explained: “You can’t have a situation where the UK is unable to make its own laws and have an independent trade policy.
“We need to respect each other’s positions. I strongly respect the position of the other 27. But for our part, we want to be able to withdraw the whole of the UK, entire, from the EU in a way that protects the UK customs union, which is after all an integral part of statehood.”
Told that some Cabinet ministers privately only give him a 30 per cent chance of winning a new deal from the EU that can pass the Commons, he replied: “Well, I’ll take that. That’s still a good… we’re working very hard. I think there’s room for a good deal to be done.”
Mr Johnson also revealed that he will ask the EU to agree the headline template of his plan to replace the backstop, with finer details to be thrashed out after the UK leaves at the end of the month.
He added: “There’s always more details that can be filled in, but the broad outlines are what we need to do. On the specific arrangements you may want to go to in years to come, there will be more conversations to be had.” In a startling departure from his no compromising stand on Brexit during bitter Commons clashes last month, the PM said he wanted to try to reunite the divided nation and “address the sense of loss of Remainers”.
Saying he was now in “Bruce Banner mode” — the Incredible Hulk’s modest scientist alter ego — Boris insisted he wanted to “take down the temperature, cool the fever and get everybody back together”.
The PM explained: “It’s an emotional thing. And it goes to people’s sense of identity. There’s a very, very serious task for government to think about how to manage those feelings because they’re real. I personally think that we’ll do brilliantly outside. I have no problem at all.
“But I can see that some people do. And that, obviously as prime minister, I have to think about that, how to bring people together.”
Last week, EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker said a No Deal Brexit would be Britain’s fault. And he warned that negotiating a future trade agreement with the UK would not be easy in the event of a No Deal
Mr Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier claimed they were doing all they could to secure a Brexit agreement.