THE £12bn rise in National Insurance Contributions (NIC) from April is ‘the right plan’ and ‘must go ahead’, Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak said in a joint article in yesterday’s Sunday Times newspaper.
PM Johnson had been wobbling over the issue and was said to be for the ‘rise’ being postponed.
His change of position was made as part of his drive to retain the Tory leadership.
The joint article was condemned by The Sunday Telegraph, which accused Johnson of making the same mistake as John Major’s tax rises after the demise of PM Thatcher.
The Telegraph wrote: ‘In 1992, John Major won a surprise re-election campaign after pledging tax cuts and lower public spending …
‘In 1993, however the government chose to raise taxes – something that Labour cleverly hung around their necks in the 1997 election.’
Blair won that election with a majority of 179, the biggest Labour majority ever. The Telegraph sees the same writing on the wall!
Under the Tory tax hike plans, employees, employers and the self-employed will all pay 1.25p more in the pound for National Insurance from April 2022 for one year, after which the extra tax will be collected as a new Health and Social Care Levy.
The increase will have the highest impact on the low-paid and add massively to inflation, with household budgets also being hit by rising energy and food prices.
Inflation is already at a 30-year high, reaching 5.4% this month.
Robert Halfon, one of the Tory MPs calling on the government not to go ahead with the NIC rise, called for raising taxes on oil companies instead.
Senior backbench Tories Robert Jenrick and Mel Stride also demanded that the increase be delayed, with Jenrick saying 2022 will already be ‘exceptionally hard’ for families.
Meanwhile, Shadow Levelling-up secretary Lisa Nandy said weakly: ‘Labour will do everything that we can over the next few weeks to try and appeal to Tory MPs’ consciences.’
- Senior Tories yesterday joined opposition MPs in demanding the Sue Gray report on No 10 lockdown parties be published immediately and in full, with Sir Christopher Chope accusing the Met Police of an ‘abuse of power’.
Doubts over how complete the report will be came after the Met asked her to make ‘minimal reference’ to events they are looking at.
Chope, the Conservative MP for Christchurch, accused the Met of interfering with Gray’s investigation.
‘They’re not right (to ask for changes) – this is not sub judice,’ he said, referring to active legal proceedings that prohibit public discussion.
‘If they had brought charges about individuals … then it would obviously be sub judice.
‘That’s why I think this is an abuse of power by the Metropolitan Police.’