'It's going ahead' but Liz Truss refuses to say if she'd back delaying NI hike

26 January 2022, 08:54 | Updated: 26 January 2022, 09:48

Liz Truss refused to say if she would back a reversal in the decision to hike National Insurance contributions
Liz Truss refused to say if she would back a reversal in the decision to hike National Insurance contributions. Picture: Alamy/LBC

By Will Taylor

The National Insurance hike will go ahead, the Foreign Secretary has insisted – despite reports the Cabinet would be prepared to delay it because families already face soaring energy bills.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

But speaking in a terse encounter with LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Liz Truss refused to be drawn on whether she would back a postponement.

Instead, she pointed out that the decision to increase National Insurance contributions by 1.25% - a move designed to help pay for social care for the elderly - had already been made.

Asked if the tax hike would get killed off ahead of its planned introduction in April, with families staring down the barrel of a cost of living crisis, Ms Truss said: "We know that it’s difficult times and that cost of living is an issue for people. But of course I'm sure the Chancellor is looking at that and seeing what can be done."

Pressed on whether she would back delaying the National Insurance increase, she said: "Nick, the decision has been made on National Insurance, that was a collective decision, and it's going ahead."

Read more: D-Day for Boris? Partygate report "fairly imminent" Liz Truss tells LBC

Liz Truss pushed on whether the NI tax hike will be delayed

Asked again, she told Nick: "I'm not going to comment on internal discussions, as I've said the cost of living rise is a concern for the Government, I know the Chancellor is looking at what can be done."

Nick pushed her a third time, to which she replied: "I'm not going to debate internal Government policy on LBC, much as you want me to, Nick."

Read more: Russia's sons won't come home if they invade Ukraine: Boris issues stark warning to Putin

The tax hike will see workers earning £24,100 pay £180 a year while an employee on £67,100 will pay £715.

From 2023, working age adults over the state pension age will also contribute 1.25%.

When will the Sue Gray report be published, Foreign Secretary?

Boris Johnson defended the rise on Monday, telling reporters: "The NHS has done an amazing job but it has been under terrible strain.

"Listen to what I'm saying: We've got to put that money in. We've got to make that investment in our NHS.

"What I'm telling people is, if you want to fund our fantastic NHS, we have to pay for it - and this Government is determined to do so."

However, a former minister who was in the Cabinet when the National Insurance change was agreed has come out to demand it the Government puts off the plans.

Ex-housing minister Robert Jenrick said in the Sunday Telegraph that the fastest way to "alleviate pressures on household budgets would be to postpone the hike".

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a Czech Defence Capabilities Event at Prague-Kbely Airport in Prague

Blinken condemns ‘poison’ of Russian misinformation

The judge looked stunned as the defendant appeared before the virtual court room

Judge left dumbfounded as man with suspended licence appears in US court - from behind wheel of car

Andrew Marr's Election Diary: After the first week of election campaigning, writes Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr's Election Diary: After the first week of election campaigning, have we learned anything?

Pressure signals could be used to locate the missing plane

MH370 breakthrough as investigators plan to use sea explosions to solve mystery of aircraft's location

More than eight police forces in England have experienced a decline in total officer numbers compared to May 2010.

A quarter of England's police forces have fewer officers now than when Tories came into power, LBC analysis reveals

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Joe Biden

Biden to make first state visit to France after attending D-Day commemorations

Fiona Beal, 50, from Northampton, stabbed Nicholas Billingham, 42, to death between October and November 2021

Teacher who murdered boyfriend and buried him in garden jailed for at least 20 years

Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight, 2008

Man who ‘identifies’ as The Joker from Batman accused of trying to kill ex-girlfriend who he called 'his Harley Quinn'

Soldiers help inter the remains of recently identified Greek soldiers who were killed in Cyprus in 1974s

Families reclaim remains of 15 Greek soldiers killed in Cyprus in 1974

Angela Rayner has defended Diane Abbott amid an ongoing row over the MP's future

'No reason' why Diane Abbott can't stand in general election as Labour MP, says Angela Rayner

Richard Tice has called for a police crackdown on ‘cash only’ barber shops

'Barber shops are fronts for money laundering drug money' claims Reform UK leader Richard Tice after LBC question

A nine-year-old girl is in critical condition after a firearm was discharged from a motorbike near a restaurant in Hackney.

Girl, 9, in critical condition after being 'innocent victim' in Hackney shooting outside restaurant

Kate will take part in the ceremony next month

Kate will not take part in Colonel's Review ahead of Trooping the Colour ceremony next month, palace confirms

The groom reportedly found out 12 days after getting married.

Shocked groom finds out ‘wife’ is a man who was dressing as a woman just 12 days after getting married

Israel soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border

Two Israeli soldiers killed in West Bank car-ramming attack

Election volunteers count ballots in Johannesburg

Early South Africa election results put ruling ANC below 50%