Downing Street rules out delaying April tax rise despite Rees-Mogg intervention

Downing Street has ruled out delaying a tax rise this April despite increasing concern among Tory MPs and cabinet ministers over the toll on voters of the cost of living.

하나, 장관, 리시 수낙, said on Thursday that the Treasury was examining ways of mitigating the impact of soaring energy prices on consumers when the price cap is reviewed in February, effective from April.

Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said there were no plans to delay the 1.25 percentage point rise in national insurance, which is expected to raise £12bn. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the House of Commons leader, is understood to have asked Sunak during Wednesday’s cabinet meeting to reconsider the increase.

“I think it’s important not to lose sight of what the national insurance measure seeks to achieve,"라고 대변인은 말했다.. “We know that one of the public’s main priorities … is the backlog in our NHS. That’s their priority and that’s what we will deliver on.

“In the longer term it will also tackle another fundamental issue left aside for too long, which is the unfairness in our current social care system. Those are two key priorities that need to be funded. We’re doing that in a fair and progressive way. And that’s why we are taking this approach.”

The Treasury is understood to be examining targeted measures to help vulnerable consumers with higher bills, such as extending the warm homes discount, but Sunak is thought to be sceptical of cutting VAT.

Speaking at a vaccination centre in Haywards Heath, the chancellor said there were a number of measures already in place. “Of course I understand people’s anxiety and concern about energy bills in particular,”그는 말했다. “Of course we’re always listening, making sure the policy we’ve got will support people in the way we want it to, and that’s what our track record over the last year or two shows.”

예를 들어, 그는 말했다, the government had increased the national living wage in the spring and reduced the universal credit taper rate, as well as helped towards bills for pensioners and vulnerable families.

But Rees-Mogg’s intervention is likely to reignite debate in the party over the national insurance rise. Before Christmas, Lord Frost resigned from the Cabinet citing high taxation, as well as Covid policy.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said the tax decision had been taken and would go ahead. “We’ve made our decisions. We have a collective responsibility,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

During questions in the Commons, the shadow Commons leader, 탕감 데보네르, teased Rees-Mogg about his intervention, saying scrapping the tax was “something we have been calling for since it was announced … I wonder – is he about to cross the floor?.”

Rees-Mogg did not respond directly but said Labour’s call to end VAT on fuel was only possible because of Brexit. “If we were still in the megalithic state that she used to so campaign for … we would not be able to cut VAT on fuel.”

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