RISHI Sunak publicly rejected calls to abandon April’s planned National Insurance hike after a major Cabinet rift opened.
The Chancellor hit back at calls made by Common’s leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to slash the size of the Whitehall machine instead of hitting workers wage packets by an extra 1.25 per cent this year.
The Chancellor hit back at calls made by Common’s leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to slash the size of the Whitehall machine[/caption]
Tuesday’s Cabinet barney was leaked sparking claims from Tory MPs that Mr Rees-Mogg was in the right and the government had lost its way on taxation.
He urged a more “frugal” approach to government spending to help struggling Brits being clobbered by the cost of living crisis.
But questioned about the rift yesterday, Mr Sunak said: “It’s always easy to duck difficult decisions, but I don’t think that’s the responsible thing to do.”
He added: “I think people’s priorities are for us to invest in the NHS, to invest in social care. We need to make sure that those investments are funded sustainably.”
Mr Rees-Mogg was also slapped down by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps who said that all ministers were bound by collective responsibility and the decision had already been made around the top table to raise taxes to fund healthcare.
Downing Street also dismissed any chance of the NICS hike being chopped – after the PM hammered the plan through his cabinet and backbenchers last autumn.
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A chastened Rees-Mogg told MPs yesterday that “there is no magic money tree” in an apparent rowing back on his comments.
He added it was for Mr Sunak to “put all these taxes and all this expenditure together in a way that ensures that the country is able to live within its means”.
Late tax reprieve
THE taxman is waiving fines for late selF-assessment filing for a month “due to Covid”.
That gives people until February 28 to complete the 2020/21 return and pay any tax due, though interest will still be charged after January 31.
Of the 12.2 million who need to submit their returns, around 5.7 million are still to do so.