Rishi Sunak has resisted calls from Conservative MPs to commit to tax cuts and compared himself to Margaret Thatcher whilst doing so.
The Prime Minister is keen to prioritise reducing inflation, insisting that this is a “deeply Conservative” approach.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove on Sunday called for taxes to be cut before the next election, while former prime minister Liz Truss is among dozens of Tory MPs who have said they will refuse to vote for new tax rises.
In response, Mr Sunak said: "The best tax cut, though, that I can deliver right now for the country is to halve inflation.”
Mr Sunak went on to explain that this approach is within the ethos of the Conservative party as "this is what Margaret Thatcher did".
He added: “This is in the tradition of great Conservative governments, bringing inflation down, because that’s the bedrock on which you build a strong economy. And that is the best way to help people with the cost of living.”
Debate within the Conservative party about tax cuts
The issue of tax cuts, and the timing of any announcements, is likely to feature heavily over the coming days at the Tory conference in Manchester.
Levelling Up Secretary Mr Gove said he wants cuts announced before the election expected in 2024 to ease the tax burden on working households.
He suggested the focus should be on cutting taxes on work such as income tax or national insurance – rather than to inheritance tax as is being reportedly considered.
However, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has played down the prospect of tax cuts in November’s Autumn Statement.
Speaking to BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg Mr Sunak said: “Change may be difficult, but I believe the country wants change, and I’m going to do things differently to bring about that change.
“You saw that last summer (during the Conservative leadership contest) when it came to this question, I said the most important priority we faced was to bring inflation down.
“It’s inflation that’s putting the prices of things up, inflation that’s making people feel poorer, the quicker we bring inflation down, the better it is, and that’s why it’s the right priority, and we are making good progress.”