Boris Johnson former Brexit secretary has urged the Tories not to push ahead with tax rises in April, as the cost of living is sharply rising.
David Frost’s calls come after he resigned last month, motivating his move through growing ‘disillusionment’ with the ‘direction’ of Tory policy, such as tax increases.
This week, Frost told the Daily Mail that the £12 billion tax hike was “never necessary or justified”.
‘Tax rises were never necessary or justified’, ex Brexit secretary insists
He said: “Given the new pressures on energy prices and inflation, it’s even more important now to scrap these tax increases and focus on getting the economy growing again. Allowing people to keep more of their own money is always the best way.”
“The tax rises this April were never necessary or justified”.
Another former Brexit secretary, David Davis, also asked for the national insurance tax increase of 1.25 percentage points to be scrapped because of cost of living pressures.
He told BBC Radio 4 Today the government move would take away 10 per cent of disposable income of “ordinary families” and was based on the “wrong data”.
“It was a judgment made on, frankly, quite a lot of wrong data.
“They didn’t know at the time that by April we would have the highest inflation rate in 30 years, they didn’t know that interest rates would be going up, council tax would be going up, the fuel price is about to jump by £700 a year for the average family. Therefore, they didn’t know quite what pressure there would be on ordinary people.”
Johnson insists ‘we have to pay’ for NHS improvements
But despite growing pressures from politicians and businesses to scrap the tax increase, the Tory government is set to push ahead with the national insurance hike.
This week, Boris Johnson told broadcasters “we have to pay for” NHS improvements, whilst he was visiting Milton Keynes Hospital.
He said: “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.”
But tax hike adds to costs casting doubt over salaries – including NHS staff
But with inflation soaring to a near 30-year high of 5.4 per cent in December, and a looming energy price cap rise in spring, Johnson’s government tax increases cast further doubt over the value of NHS staff pay rises.
In the year to December, the cost of living rose at the fastest pace in almost 30 years, according to official figures.
The UK’s Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation increased to 5.4 per cent in November, almost double the pay rise received by NHS staff such as nurses, paramedics and GPs in July last year.
Rising costs have been recorded for food, non-alcoholic drinks, household aspects such as energy bills, furniture and clothes.
Related: EU citizens leaving the UK because of Brexit ‘not isolated cases’, group warns