'Read my lips': Labour mocks Boris Johnson with LBC video of him promising no tax rise

7 September 2021, 19:31 | Updated: 7 September 2021, 20:08

Boris Johnson breaks manifesto pledge and increases National Insurance

By Emma Soteriou

Labour have criticised Boris Johnson for breaking a promise, after he told LBC in 2019 to "read my lips - we will not be raising taxes".

The opposition party tweeted the LBC clip of Mr Johnson pledging not to raise National Insurance ahead of the 2019 general election.

In the tweet, Labour said: "They broke their promises and raised taxes on working people.

"And they haven't even fixed social care."

It comes after Labour leader Keir Starmer also referenced LBC's clip - which included the 'read my lips' phrase first used by George Bush Sr in 1988 - saying in the Commons on Tuesday: "Read my lips - the Tories can never again claim to be the party of low tax."

The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday that there would be a 1.25 per cent National Insurance rise and the pension triple lock was scrapped for a year, after denying either would happen in the lead up to the 2019 general election.

He also refused to rule out any other tax hikes.

In response, opposition parties have criticised the leader's approach, with SNP work and pensions spokesman David Linden comparing the changes to his driving test.

"Today's bonanza of manifesto commitments being broken is like nothing we've ever seen before - indeed, I don't think I've seen this many U-turns in one day since I sat my driving test back in 2007," he said.

Read more: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out more tax hikes after National Insurance rise

Read more: As it happened: Boris Johnson announces 1.25% social care tax rise

Social care: LBC's Matthew Thompson reacts to PM press conference

"Not only have the Tories hiked National Insurance but now they're waging war on pensioners' incomes by watering down the triple lock."

Mr Linden's comments came after SNP said Scotland’s families and young people would be "shafted" and forced to pay the price due to the social care crisis in England.

Mr Johnson said Scotland would receive more than £1 billion as he announced plans to raise additional cash for social care reform across the UK.

However the SNP warned the changes would be the Prime Minister's version of the "poll tax", with the party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford accusing the Tory of taxing Scottish workers twice.

Mr Blackford said: "By raising this levy across the UK, the Tories are taxing Scottish workers twice - forcing them to pay the bill for social care in England as well as at home in Scotland.

"This is the Prime Minister's poll tax on Scottish workers to pay for English social care."

Read more: PM admits controversial social care tax hike 'breaks manifesto commitment'

Read more: Second Tory manifesto pledge broken as pensions triple lock scrapped

Former Pensions Minister reacts to PM breaking manifesto pledges

The second manifesto promise to be broken by the Tories was the pension triple lock, which will now be suspended for a year, with the government citing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason behind the decision.

Former Liberal Democrats Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, told LBC that in making the changes, Mr Johnson had "rewritten the rules" for politicians.

"Things have happened that, in normal times, you would say that's their death now politically - they'll have to resign, they'll lose - yet he sails through," he added.