Liz Truss has said she still wants the top rate of income tax for the highest earners to be lower just a day after being forced into a U-turn to stave off a Conservative revolt.
The Prime Minister said she backed down on abolishing the 45% rate for earnings over £150,000 because it had become a “distraction” amid widespread criticism.
But Ms Truss said she “would like to see the higher rate lower”, revealing a possible ambition to bring back the controversial tax cut for the wealthy in the future.
Ms Truss also said she would not be sacking Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt after she spoke out in favour of raising benefit payments in line with soaring inflation.
The Prime Minister is considering instead whether to raise them by the far lower level of private sector earnings, as Tory critics try to pressure her to go further and not deal welfare claimants a real-terms cut.
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng was forced into an astonishing mid-conference U-turn over the top rate of income tax to ward off a potential Commons defeat on their taxation plans.
But, in an interview with the BBC, Ms Truss said: “I would like to see the higher rate lower. I want us to be a competitive country but I have listened to feedback, I want to take people with me.”