Tory Minister Admits National Insurance Plan Could Take Decades


Tory plans to scrap National Insurance have been plunged into disarray after a Treasury minister admitted it could take decades for it to happen.

Gareth Davies said it “may be several parliaments” before the major tax reform ever sees the light of day.

His comments on Sky News this morning came amid mounting confusion over the pledge.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt – who has reduced National Insurance from 12p to 8p in the pound since November – hinted that it could be abolished entirely if the Conservatives are re-elected.

Treasury minister Bim Afolami later confirmed the plan, but work and pensions secretary Mel Stride last night would only say the government wanted to “bring national insurance down”.

On Sky News, Davies, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said: “The starting point is that we think there’s a fundamental unfairness that if you work in a job you pay two types of tax – you pay income tax and you pay national insurance.

“What we want to do is we want to get National Insurance contributions down to the extent that we remove the unfairness over time.

“The long-term ambition – it may take several parliaments – but the long-term ambition is to remove that unfairness absolutely.”

Labour has challenged the Tories to explain how they would pay for the policy, which they said would cost £46 billion a year.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Darren Jones, said: “Another day, another new claim from a Treasury minister over their £46 billion unfunded tax cut.

“And yet we still haven’t heard a word about how they plan to pay for it. If they are going to continue to confirm it is their policy, they should explain where the money is coming from.

“Another five years under Rishi Sunak risks re-running the disastrous Liz Truss experiment, which crashed the economy and sent mortgages rocketing for working people.”

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