Sajid Javid brands highest tax hike since the war a 'very Conservative move'

8 September 2021, 08:28

'This is a very conservative thing to do' Health Secretary says

By Sophie Barnett

Sajid Javid has told LBC the controversial rise to National Insurance is a "very Conservative thing to do", as Boris Johnson prepares to try and convince MPs to back his plan to raise taxes by 1.25%.

Nick Ferrari quizzed the Health secretary on the government's plans, which will see taxes rise in April 2022 by the highest amount since the Second World War.

Nick challenged the minister and asked whether he could "check this is still a Conservative government".

The Health Secretary replied: "What we announced yesterday is a very Conservative thing to do.

"The package includes a huge amount of record support for the NHS, as Conservatives we believe in the NHS and that it should be the world-class universal health service, free at the point of use, paid out of general taxation for all of us.

"We can all see the huge pressure the global pandemic put on the NHS and indeed the rise on those waiting lists. I'm not willing to tolerate that.

"If we believe in an NHS that's paid out of general taxation, this is a very Conservative move."

Read more: PM announces 1.25% 'manifesto breaking' tax hike to fund social care reform

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

Is this a gamble for the prime minister?

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson confirmed National Insurance will rise by 1.25% to cover the cost of reforming the UK's "broken" social care system, adding "the more you earn, the more you will pay".

The Prime Minister laid out his plans to overhaul the UK's social care system in the Commons on Tuesday, shortly after the Cabinet gave his manifesto-breaking plans the green light.

Mr Johnson says the increase will raise almost 36 billion pounds over the next three years.

He has also announced no-one will have to pay more than 86-thousand pounds for care over their lifetime.

But the plans have come under fire by the opposition, and a number of Tory backbenchers.

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

Sajid Javid told LBC's Nick Ferrari that the rise to National Insurance is a "very Conservative thing to do".
Sajid Javid told LBC's Nick Ferrari that the rise to National Insurance is a "very Conservative thing to do". Picture: Alamy

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

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 Government's plan will see the introduction of a new health and social care levy, based on a 1.25 percentage-point increase in national insurance (NI) contributions - breaking a Tory commitment not to raise NI.

Boris Johnson's response on whether he is still a low tax Tory