Sir John Redwood has singled out Rishi Sunak for criticism amid the ongoing cost of living crisis. The Government is pressing ahead with plans to hike taxes with a 1.25 percentage-point rise in National Insurance – despite renewed calls for ministers to relieve the pressures of soaring inflation. The Conservative MP hit out at the Government’s ‘flagrant breach’ of manifesto pledges with tax rises coming in April.
The tax hikes will coincide with soaring gas and electric bills, and come at a time when the current Prime Minister’s future hangs in the balance over Partygate.
LBC host Andrew Castle put this to Sir John, saying: “The red wallers and the traditional suburban Tory voters, they have had enough, haven’t they?
“This party gate is kind of the last straw, I would contend.”
Sir John responded: “I think we want some common sense! We have gas and oil out there.
“We would get more tax on it if we brought it home. We are going to burn gas and oil anyway so let’s burn our own.”
JUST IN: Rishi Sunak knifed in back by fellow Tory
He continued: “They want to feel like the Government is on their side so when the gas bill is about to soar, getting rid of the National Insurance threat is a good idea.
“I take my manifesto pledges seriously. I was proud of my manifesto promises in 2019 to not increase income tax, VAT and National Insurance.”
Mr Castle interrupted: “But who is Boris Johnson listening to that all of this stuff that offends a traditional Tory voter and a Tory loyalist like Sir John Redwood comes about?”
The MP was blunt in his response: “It comes from the Treasury.
Kwasi Kwarteng ruled out a Government U-turn on the National Insurance hike but suggested the cabinet would come up with new policies to tackle the cost of living crisis.
Inflation hit 5.4 percent this week, while both Britons are already facing surging energy and gas prices, squeezing budgets even more.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg was reported to have spoken out against the rise during a cabinet meeting earlier this month, saying it could not be justified.
Earlier this week, Sir John tweeted: “Cancel the National Insurance rise. Paying some people on very low incomes a one-off payment is not the answer.
“NI penalises work, acting as a disincentive to work more hours or get promoted.
“Inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. UK real incomes falling badly.
“Time for government to promote more domestic supply of energy, food, industrial products to stop the price rises. The imports best policy is disastrous.”