wealth tax

Rishi Sunak urged to scrap planned hike in national insurance

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Rishi Sunak has been urged to scrap the planned hike in National Insurance and slash fuel duty to help families who are facing a “cost of living crisis”.

Speaking ahead of the spring statement tomorrow, North East MPs and leaders have demanded bold action from the Chancellor. The Treasury have briefed that Mr Sunak will use his mini-budget to set out how he intends to “stand by” families during the challenging times ahead.

But Government sources have said Mr Sunak is reluctant to make big fiscal changes, of the kind demanded by our region. Newcastle MP Catherine McKinnell said many families in her constituency were facing “sleepless nights” over spiralling costs.

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She said: “This crisis is only set to deepen as the invasion of Ukraine forces inflation even higher, and I know so many families in my constituency are seriously worried about what their future holds. Without urgent action from Government, next month will see the double whammy of an increased energy price cap in top of the Tory tax rise on working people.

“The rise in national insurance is ill-judged and deeply unfair, and removes money from people’s pockets and our local economy just as businesses are starting to recover from the pandemic. The spring statement is an important opportunity for a U-turn and the Government should take it, whilst also supporting Labour’s plans for a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies to help our families struggling with ever increasing fuel bills.”

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said he would like to see more cash for green industries to help stimulate the economy. He said: “The cost of living crisis poses a serious economic threat.

“Rising costs and less money in people’s pockets risks a recession where poverty overwhelms our public services.

“The Chancellor could turn this around. A Green New Deal that retrofits houses, improves public transport and provides cheap renewable energy will pay for itself.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery warned that child poverty in the North East would get “far worse” unless extra support was given. He said: “There is some low hanging fruit for the Chancellor that would make a real difference to the lives of ordinary hardworking people.

“This includes cancelling the national insurance rise, significantly reducing fuel duty and VAT and increase the amount workers who use their vehicles can claim per mile, enshrining the Right to Food into law and make school meals free for all children and implementing a wealth tax on billionaires and huge profits amassed throughout the pandemic.”

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald echoed the calls, saying: “The Chancellor needs to wake up and understand the full impact of the cost of living crisis impacting millions of people right now. The Government needs to step up and give the British people the urgent support they need and tinkering at the edges wont cut it.”

Speaking ahead of the statement, Mr Sunak said his economic plan would deliver a “faster growing economy”, “more resilient public finances” and “security for working families”. The Chancellor’s statement is also expected to set out how the Government plans to create a new “culture of enterprise”, with the private sector training more, investing more, and innovating more.



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