MPs have come under fire for taking a month-long parliamentary break as the UK has entered an “autumn of discontent”.
The latest recess for Parliament will start on Thursday and run until 18 October, to allow Tory and Labour MPs to hold their annnual party conferences.
But the Commons break comes only three weeks after MPs came back from the summer recess.
SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart told PA news agency: “We will be taking a month off when the UK is facing an autumn of discontent, when hard-pressed families are facing one of the biggest assaults on their weekly incomes.
“As this House abandons its station to the conference halls and seaside resorts, there’s Universal Credit cuts, energy prices going through the roof, a CO2 crisis, driver shortages, farming chaos, fishing chaos, an export crisis, the ending of furlough and Brexit killing a nation.”
‘Kermit the Frog’
He added: “This nonsense of a conference recess has surely run its course and it must now come to an end.
“We also face an environment crisis but, hey, we’ve got the Prime Minister telling us all to grow up as he quotes Kermit The Frog. Maybe he should have got Kermit the Frog to negotiate a trade deal with the Americans while he was there, maybe we could even have got Fozzie Bear to solve the energy crisis.”
Earlier this month, 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.
The prime minister argued the increase is “the reasonable and the fair approach”.
In an LBC video from 2019, Johnson insisted: “Read my lips, we will not be raising taxes on income, on VAT or National Insurance”.