As he took questions from workers at the Teesside factory, one worker asked: “You just said low tax. Do you mean low tax for people like you or low tax for people like us.”
In response, Mr Johnson appeared to confirm reports he plans to increase the threshold for paying National Insurance from £8,632 to more than £12,000.
He said: “I mean low tax for people of the working people.” He added: “And if you look at what we’re doing and what I’ve said in the last few days, we’re going to be cutting national insurance up to £12,000, we’re going to be making sure that we cut business rates for small businesses, we are cutting tax for working people.”
The Institute for Fiscal studies estimates the policy move would cost £10bn. The Tory leader went on to make an unfounded claim Labour policies would result in a tax increase for working people.
Labour say their manifesto, to be launched tomorrow, will be fully costed – and will only increase taxes on the top 1% of earners.
Mr Johnson added: “Labour’s policies inevitably lead – they always say they’re going to point the fingers at billionaires or whatever – and in the end it’s everybody who pays.”
He was also challenged to guarantee he would never sell off the NHS, to which he replied: “I can – and I was amazed by what (Jeremy Corbyn) had to say. It’s a complete invention.”