Ring-wing newspapers have praised chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘tax cuts’ – one month after the Conservative Party announced the largest tax hike since the Second World War.
The newspapers’ front pages today were plastered with Sunak and prime minister Boris Johnson raising beers and lifting barrels.
The Daily Express claimed the chancellor is on a “moral” mission to cut taxes and that “his aim is to bring down the tax burden that has soared to the highest level since the 1950s, due to the Covid crisis” – thus admitted taxpayer debt has been rising under the Tories.
Lawyer Peter Stefanovix reacted to the press coverage, saying: “Only Daily Express could carry a front page headline today [saying] ‘Cheers! Rishi on a mission to cut taxes’ – after he’s just raised taxes to their highest level in 70 years.”
Daily Express, Daily Mail, The Telegraph put positive spin on Tory move
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail praised Sunak’s “extraordinary £150 billion spree” under the headline “The drinks are on us!” – but at the same time admitted Britain is facing the heaviest tax burden since the 1950s.
The Mail also gave an insight to its readers into the reason behind the Tory spending, calling it a “strategy to win the next election”.
Meanwhile, The Telegraph lured readers with a front-page titled: “Hey, big spenders” and repeated the Tories’ claim that they are “the party of public services”.
But the government’s own Office of Budget Responsibility said that “taking this March and October budgets together, the chancellor has raised taxes by more this year than in any single year since Norman Lamont and Ken Clarke’s two 1993 budgets in the aftermath of black Wednesday”.
National Insurance hike from April 2022
The tax burden that is mentioned in passing under the flashy front pages does mean that workers and the self-employed are set to suffer the most financially, because of a hike in National Insurance contributions from next April.
MPs overwhelmingly voted for a National Insurance increase last month, despite it breaking a pledge in the government’s 2019 manifesto.
The tax hike was voted through by 317 votes to 248. Unsurprisingly, all of those who voted in favour of the manifesto-busting move sit on the Conservative benches.
National Insurance is now set to increase by 1.25 percentage points from April 2022, the largest tax hike since the Second World War.
This means a worker earning £24,100 would pay £180 extra a year, while a higher rate taxpayer on £67,100 would pay £715 more.
Johnson argued the increase is “the reasonable and the fair approach”.
Admitting that the Tory manifesto pledge had been scrapped, he said: “No Conservative government ever wants to raise taxes and I will be honest with the House, yes, I accept that this breaks a manifesto commitment, which is not something I do lightly.”