Rishi Sunak is reportedly trying to distance himself from a £12bn National Insurance hike due to be enforced in April, with the chancellor telling Tory MPs that it is the “Prime Minister’s tax”.
Backbench Conservative MPs are rallying for the chancellor to scrap the tax rise, with many complaining that it will come as families are already being hit with soaring inflation.
The Resolution Foundation think tank estimates families will be around £1,200 out of pocket this year just from the National Insurance rise and the expected increases in energy bills.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Sunak tried to distance himself from the tax rise as he met backbench MPs over the past week.
A source told the Mail: “Rishi referred to it as ‘the Prime Minister’s tax’, which seemed quite pointed, to put it mildly.
“We were left with the impression that he didn’t want to be associated with it.”
The £12bn tax rise will go toward extra funding for the NHS and social care, with most of the cash over the next three years dedicated to reducing hospital backlogs.
It will then be used primarily to improve the country’s social care.
A government spokesperson said: “It is a progressive tax with those earning more paying more. This will benefit people up and down the country, including by tackling the backlog that the pandemic has created on NHS operations and procedures, strengthening the adult social care system so that people do not have to bear the financial risks of catastrophic care costs themselves, and funding a three per cent pay rise for nurses.”