Boris Johnson faces growing fury as he vows to plough on with hated National Insurance hike

EMBATTLED Boris Johnson was last night hit by fresh fury after he vowed to plough on with the hated NICs tax hike.

Angry Tory MPs and economy experts warned the PM it is “extremely perverse” to clobber families with the tax raid just as the cost of living crisis bites.

AP
Angry Tory MPs and think tanks warned Boris Johnson it was ‘perverse’ to clobber families with a tax raid as the cost of living crisis bites[/caption]

While Boris also faced the heat after all but ruling out slashing VAT from energy bills – a key demand of many in his party.

Bojo has promised to come up with a bumper plan to “abate energy costs” for hard-working families. It is expected within days.

But any package is expected to pale next to the £12billion NICs tax bomb.

Tom Clougherty, head of tax at the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, told MPs yesterday: “It strikes me as extremely perverse to raise taxes on ordinary earners in the middle of a cost of living crisis.”

And Torsten Bell, from the Resolution Foundation think-tank, said: “Lowest-income households are going to struggle most”.

It came as bosses warned that even tiny firms employing a handful of people will be clobbered. Firms with 8 staff on medium wages will have to fork out an extra £3,115 a year, the Federation of Small Business found.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry added: “Government should change course. This triple whammy hits wages, jobs and prices.

“If they go ahead as planned, the NICs hikes set to take effect in April will add thousands of pounds to employment costs for the average small firm at a time when cash reserves are depleted.

“Many will have no choice but to raise prices as a result, adding to existing inflationary pressure. At the same time, the jobs tax hike will reduce take home pay for employees.

“Taken together, that pincer effect will cause our cost-of-living crisis to worsen and our nascent recovery to slow.”

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Tory MP Craig Mackinlay said: “The government is finding it harder to justify this rise and there must be a U-turn. It would be politically naive to go ahead given the cost of living crisis, and rising council tax.

“There is no halfway house on this – it has to be done.”

Treasury minister Simon Clarke, all but ruled out a VAT cut on energy bills.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “If you go with a blanket cut in VAT, then the risk is that the benefit of that accrues disproportionately to the wealthiest in society, because they will tend to have larger homes, larger energy bills, and will therefore reap the disproportionate benefit from such an intervention.

“We would rather target our support more closely to need.”



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