Treasury minister Bim Afolami says Tories want to scrap National Insurance if re-elected, after 2p cut in Budget

6 March 2024, 19:05 | Updated: 6 March 2024, 19:19

Treasury minister Bim Afolami says Tories want to wipe out National Insurance if re-elected after 2p Budget cut
Treasury minister Bim Afolami says Tories want to wipe out National Insurance if re-elected after 2p Budget cut. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Treasury minister Bim Afolami has claimed the Conservative government wants to wipe out National Insurance tax if re-elected at the next general election.

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Mr Afolami told LBC's Andrew Marr this evening that the Conservatives would "continue along the track" of cutting taxes, and eventually want to disband National Insurance altogether.

It comes after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt during his Budget announced a 2p cut to National Insurance contributions for employees that will come into effect from April 6, and would save around £450 a year for someone on a full-time salary of £35,000.

The Chancellor told the House of Commons that the way people's income is taxed is "particularly unfair".

National Insurance contributions are paid by employees and the self-employed on their earnings, as well as employers. The amount paid depends on an individual's salary.

Bim Afolami on National Insurance

Read More: Budget at a glance: What measures did the Government announce?

Read More: Hunt hands £450 to millions and overhauls child benefit in 'tax-cutting' budget - but bad news for non-doms and smokers

"To be clear, we've cut a third [of National Insurace] in the space of five, six months. We'd like to continue along that track," Mr Afolami told Marr, before confirming the Conservatives would like to wipe out the other two-thirds eventually.

"I'm not putting a time-point on that and I want to be clear about that. It's important we only do that when we're not going to be borrowing extra money to pay for it, and we secure good public services."

Asked about a promise made by Rishi Sunak when he was Chancellor, claiming the Conservatives would cut income tax by the next election, Mr Afolami refused to confirm if the plan was still in place.

"I don't want to suggest what will happen beyond this event," the treasury minister said.

He also refused to confirm if the Conservative government was planning to deliver another Budget in the Autumn ahead of a general election later this year.

"What happens in the coming weeks and months, happens," Mr Afolami concluded.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt records a broadcast clip after delivering his Budget, Wednesday
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt records a broadcast clip after delivering his Budget, Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Jeremy Hunt freezes duty on fuel and alcohol as he unveils pre-election 'tax-cutting' Budget

Read More: 'All the indicators point towards a May election', Wes Streeting says, as he accuses Sunak of 'squatting' in No. 10

During his Budget, Mr Hunt also announced that earners on up to £80,000 will get child benefit, rather than the £60,000 where it currently stands.

Fuel duty is also being frozen for the 14th year, and alcohol will also continue to be held for another six months.

Mr Hunt further announced a crackdown on non-doms, vapers and smokers and curbed tax breaks for landlords.

He said that the current tax system for non-doms, which allowed some wealthy individuals to avoid paying tax on their foreign income, will be abolished in a measure expected to raise £2.7 billion.

Under the plans today the average price of a packet of 20 cigarettes is set to soar past £16 for the first time.

Vapes are also being targeted in a bid to reduce the rate of underage vaping.

Before the tax increase the mean cost of a packet of 20 stood at £15.26 in January, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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