Rishi Sunak torn apart by ‘extremely angry’ colleagues over tax hike: ‘Tax millionaires!’ | Personal Finance | Finance


Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will give a speech today on how investment, innovation and development can boost Britain post-Brexit. It comes as Mr Sunak faces scrutiny for his policy on taxes. He is poised to hit nine million Britons with a stealth tax, according to a study. Mr Sunak is under pressure to raise the income tax threshold as inflation drags more people into a higher tax bracket.

According to a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), nine million workers will be made to pay more tax as a result of the freeze.

The freeze will end up costing taxpayers £40billion, according to reports.

Douglas McWilliams, CEBR deputy chairman said: “It is absurd. This stealth tax rise should be reversed.”

This is not the first time Mr Sunak has raided taxpayers’ pockets.

Last autumn, Mr Sunak announced that National Insurance contributions will increase from 12 percent to 13.25 percent – a move that proved very controversial.

The increase will later become known as the Health and Social Care Levy, but some have argued this tax hike targets lower earners, while higher earners are unaffected.

The Government is standing firmly by the policy, despite pressure from within the Conservative Party to ditch it.

In January, various Tory backbenchers voiced their anger at the tax hike.

Former Cabinet Minister John Redwood branded it a huge mistake.

He told the Daily Mail that the Prime Minister and Chancellor “will find that the party is extremely angry about it”.

But he signalled that the fight against the tax hike would go on, calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Mr Sunak to “cancel it immediately”.

Senior Tory Robert Halfon added: “If they want to raise money for the NHS – which I agree with – we should be taxing millionaires, not millions of workers.”

READ MORE: Boris urged to cancel National Insurance hike

The Tory MPs are not alone in their calls for a reversal of the National Insurance hike.

Last month, a leading centre-right think tank said the Chancellor should raise taxes on capital, inheritance and rents as a way of making the system fairer.

Bright Blue said Mr Sunak’s new Health and Social Care Levy – designed to raise money to clear NHS backlogs and increase spending on care – was “surprising” for a Conservative Government to bring in and the priority should be to make it less burdensome for employers.

Their report added: “It cannot be abolished, but it can be made much fairer. Any detrimental impact on workers and employers can be mitigated.”

Julain Jessop of the Institute of Economic Affairs, a free market think tank, told Express.co.uk in November that there is no guarantee the National Insurance hike will fix health and social care issues.

He said: “It’s a tax increase for a start, you have to question whether you needed to raise taxes in the first place.

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“But also, the money doesn’t look like it’s going to be well spent, so it doesn’t even look like it’s going to achieve the aim of improving health and social care.

“I think it’s a missed opportunity to have a fundamental rethink about social care and tax. Instead they have gone for a short term fix that actually may end up fixing nothing at all.

“There’s actually not going to be money for social care for several years, initially the money is going to be used to solve the backlog in the NHS.

“In the longer run, there’s no actual guarantee that this money will go to social care because, although they say it’s going to be ring-fenced, why would you necessarily believe a Government that’s just broken so many manifesto promises in a single day?”

During Conservative Party conference in October, Mr Sunak defended his tax hike.

He said: “Just borrowing more money and stacking up bills for future generations to pay is not just economically irresponsible, it is immoral.

“Yes, I want tax cuts. But in order to do that our public finances must be put back on a sustainable footing.”



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