Boris faces ‘Cabinet revolt’ after outrage over ‘uncomfortable’ national insurance hike

National Insurance 'will not be increased' says Kwarteng

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The Prime Minister, in a bid to fulfil the 2019 manifesto promise to improve social care, is looking to increase national insurance contributions by one percent. It would hit both employees and businesses and is believed to raise around £10billion a year.

However, plans to hike national insurance contributions have been attacked as it would hit lower-paid workers more.

Others have pointed out people who claim their pension are exempt from paying national insurance even if they still work.

Reports have claimed Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid are “uncomfortable” with the plans.

A source claimed: “Raising national insurance and giving pensioners a pay rise at the same time smacks of intergenerational unfairness.”

According to the Sunday Times, who reported the ministers are “uncomfortable”, five cabinet members are opposed to the plans.

One anonymous minister said to the outlet: “I don’t think it is right, particularly after the pandemic, to be asking 20 and 30-year-olds to pay more, especially when we also want them to get on to the housing ladder.”

Another minister added: “Raising NI in the way proposed would increase intergenerational unfairness and would hit the working young given that people do not pay NI beyond state pension age.

“I don’t see why we can’t pay for social care out of the existing budget by making savings.”

A third said: “I don’t think the public are going to buy the idea that by raising NI, we are not breaching our manifesto pledge not to breach taxes.

“That’s simply semantics.”

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are said to be in discussions over suspending the pensions triple lock.

Under the triple lock, the state pension rises each year in line with whichever figure is highest out of inflation, wages or 2.5 per cent.

The Office for Budget Responsibility published figures predicting that wages could surge 8 per cent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sunday Telegraph reported the Government is concerned about keeping the triple lock while also raising National Insurance contributions.

A Government source told the Telegraph: “They are having conversations about this and whether the two things can come together.

“They are being considered together and that’s certainly what people want to do.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng previously agreed the 2019 Tory manifesto ruled out tax hikes, including national insurance.

He told Sky News “I don’t see how we could” raise national insurance without breaking the election promise.

The Resolution Foundation condemned the national insurance idea as “a terrible way to raise the funds required”.

A YouGov survey for The Times showed the support for the Conservatives stood at 38 percent.

Labour was at 34 percent in the poll carried out from July 20 to July 21, with 1667 respondents.

It comes as around 1.4 million requests for care from older people have been turned down by local authorities in England since the Prime Minister’s pledge to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” in 2019, according to Age UK.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said it and other charities “will be working hard to ensure the government doesn’t forget the commitment it has made”.

She added: “After all the recent media stories suggesting that the government wanted to make an announcement about its social care proposals before recess, it is very disappointing to have been let down once again.

“The fact that we are all now thoroughly used to being led down the garden path doesn’t make this latest disappointment any easier … These constant government delays carry a cost.”

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