Tory MPs think Jacob Rees-Mogg is crying “crocodile tears” over the National Insurance rise.
The House of Commons leader is understood to have spoken out against the plan to increase the tax by 1.25 per cent, amid inflation and energy bills hikes.
But some Conservatives think it is too late to protest against the move agreed on in September.
Jake Berry, chair of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, told Times Radio: “Jacob Rees Mogg, when this was proposed, had the ability then, to oppose like I did, this increase in national insurance. It’s all very well to turn around with crocodile tears now and say, look what my policies have created.”
“So if Jacob Rees Mogg wants to vote with his feet that’s up to him. It’s a bit late in the day, and I do hope that the government may think again.”
Downing Street said there are “no plans” to delay the national insurance increase.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said on Thursday: “There are no plans to do that, no.
“The Cabinet collectively agree with that approach and recognise the priority of the public in ensuring our NHS has the funding it needs to tackle the backlog, which has been exacerbated by Covid.”
In September, MPs overwhelmingly voted for a National Insurance hike in parliament – 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.
Prime minister Boris Johnson appeared to suggest that the poorest people in the UK, including young people, will have to front the costs of new social care funding, but ‘everyone will benefit’.
The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg told Johnson that it’s people who “have wages and no assets” who will pay under national insurance hikes planned by the government.
But Johnson replied saying “everybody” has relatives who need better care and who risk having to pay for it.
Meanwhile, Labour has accused Boris Johnson of breaking a Brexit promise made during the 2016 EU referendum campaign on slashing VAT from household energy bills.
The prime minister rejected calls for VAT to be removed, arguing it is not the best way to help those who struggle with rising energy costs, and labelling its removal as “a blunt instrument”.