Liz Truss defends National Insurance hikes due in April
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Liz Truss told angry LBC host Tom Swarbrick the Government has no choice but to increase National Insurance from April in a bid to “balance the books” after Britain’s finances took a tremendous hit during the Covid crisis. There is no suggestion that the National Insurance tax rise will be scrapped or at least delayed which had Mr Swarbrick seething as he asked her why it cannot be delayed to give cash-strapped Britons some much-needed respite. The radio host asked: “In April? That has to come in April? Surely you’ve made representations, I am sure you made representation to the Chancellor and Prime Minister on this!”
Britain’s Foreign Secretary refused however to elaborate on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision, saying that he has to look at the bigger and play the hand he is dealt.
And she noted one of the most effective ways of recouping lost money is by raising funds through hikes.
Ms Truss admitted that she is not jumping for joy but defended Mr Sunak’s decision as the UK have to “retain” their financial prowess.
She said: “I don’t think anybody is happy with the idea of taxation in the Conservative party.
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“We are a low-tax party but we have spent a lot of money during the Covid crisis. “
“And we have to make sure that we are able to keep our finances in good shape.
“And obviously the Chancellor is responsible for making sure that we have the right fiscal policy to address that!”
But for Mr Swarbrick there is no way that Ms Truss gave her full backing to the strategy considering her past position on high taxation.
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Ms Truss was once heavily slammed by the Labour party for her willingness to create up to 10 tax-free zones at airports and shipping ports as they claimed the move threatened to create tax havens, thus heightening the risk of money-laundering on Britain’s coasts.
Mr Swarbrick said: “You are on the record for a long time about your credentials when it comes to taxation, you can’t have supported a tax rise even in principle?
“Certainly one that is coming in in April when the cost of living crisis is so huge.
“Could there be no room at all to move it back?”
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Ms. Truss said: “As I’ve said we spent 400 billion providing support during Covid and the reality is that does need to be paid for!
“As I’ve said the Chancellor has to look at the whole picture.
“He has to make sure we are able to balance the books and retain our hard-won financial credibility!”
When asked about the widely unpopular decision to increase taxes, Ms Truss told BBC’s Sunday Morning programme in January voiced her opinion on the matter, admitting: “Taxes are never popular.
“As soon as possible we want to be in a position to lower our tax rates.
“We do face a short-term issue that is we have spent significant amounts of money dealing with the Covid crisis, it does need to be paid back.”
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