Nicola Sturgeon launches blistering Brexit attack
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The Government is expected to announce an increase in national insurance, of between one and two percent, next week. Controversially, this breaks one of the Conservatives 2019 election manifesto pledges.
As a result, the proposals have triggered a fierce row, with former Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond warning the plans could cause the Government “significant damage”.
Mr Cummings, who has become a trenchant critic of the Prime Minister since being booted out of Downing Street in November 2020, joined the criticism.
He tweeted: “Every Tory MP stood on a manifesto promise NOT to put up income tax/NI [national insurance].
“The PM personally guaranteed it. If you vote to break your promise you will hear ‘you’re a LIAR…ALL THE SAME’ for years.”
The former Vote Leave chief added Tory MPs shouldn’t “sac [sacrifice] your reputation for the” trolley, represented by an emoji.
Mr Cummings has taken to calling Mr Johnson “a trolley”, in the belief he is “smashing from one side of the aisle to the other”.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday morning, Covid vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi refused to rule out a national insurance increase.
He commented: “We are absolutely committed to the social care reform and we will be coming forward by the end of the year with those details.”
Along with social care, the money will reportedly be used to help clear the growing NHS backlog.
Currently five million people are waiting for hospital treatment, with fears this could rise to 13 million next year.
Speaking at the FT Weekend Festival former Prime Minister John Major branded a national insurance rise “regressive”, adding money should be raised in a “straightforward and honest fashion” via regular taxation.
Mr Hammond, the former Conservative Chancellor and MP, warned a national insurance rise would hit “young working people”.
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Appearing on Times Radio, he said: “An increase in national insurance contributions is asking young working people, some of whom will never inherit the property, to subsidise older people who’ve accumulated wealth during their lifetime and have a property, and, on any basis, that has got to be wrong.
“I think that if the Government were to go ahead with the proposed increase in national insurance contributions, breaking a manifesto commitment in order to underwrite the care costs of older people with homes, I think that would provoke a very significant backlash.
“I think it would cause the Government – the Conservative party – significant damage.
“Economically, politically, expanding the state further in order to protect private assets by asking poor people to subsidise rich people has got to be the wrong thing to do.”
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Labour has also said it opposes any increase to national insurance.
Lisa Nandy, the shadow foreign secretary, accused Mr Johnson of seeking to “load the entirety of the cost of social care on to supermarket workers and delivery drivers, who are already suffering with high childcare costs, high housing costs and who kept us going through the pandemic”.
In 2020 the UK economy shrank by 9.9 percent as the coronavirus pandemic struck.
This was the biggest annual contraction since the Great Frost of 1709.
However, with the end of lockdown, major economic gains are expected for 2021.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), forecasts UK GDP will rise by 7.2 percent this year.
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