Bedford's Liberal Democrats call on chancellor to stop National Insurance rise

"Now is not the time to be hitting workers and businesses"
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Bedford's Liberal Democrats are calling on Rishi Sunak to reverse his decision to raise National Insurance ahead of the spring statement this week.

The tax rise will hit thousands of workers, with inflation set to hit 8 per cent later this year.

Councillor Michael Headley, portfolio holder for finance, said: “The chancellor must go back on this decision. Now is not the time to be hitting workers and businesses with this unfair tax rise when so many are already worried about the rising cost of living.

Rishi SunakRishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak

"We are facing the biggest squeeze on living standards in decades, this is not the time to be raising a regressive tax.

“A rise in National insurance is particularly unfair as higher paid workers pay a lower percentage of their wages than lower paid workers.

"Most people pay National Insurance at 12 per cent, but on earnings above £50,270 the rate drops to 2 per cent. So higher earners pay much less as a proportion of their income.”

Councillor Headley added: “It is not just workers that will be forced to pay a greater amount of National Insurance, businesses will also be significantly impacted. The past two years have been so difficult for small businesses and now the Government wants to hit them with a tax bombshell when they are already struggling to stay afloat.

“Rishi Sunak must cancel the tax hike, and offer families and businesses a lifeline by slashing VAT instead.”