During the Prime Minister Questions in the House of Commons today, Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer questioned Mr Johnson on why he is raising taxes on working people. Sir Keir said: “You can be as stealthy as you like but you can’t hide reality. “We have the highest tax burden for 70 years during the middle of an inflation crisis.
“So, I ask the Prime Minister again, why he and the Chancellor keep raising taxes on working people?”
Mr Johnson replied: “Mr Speaker I think everybody in this country can see we have been through the biggest pandemic.
“We have looked after the people of this country to the tune of £400billion that we put into furlough and all the other schemes.
“11.7 million people protected, fastest growth in the G7, youth unemployment at a record low and three times as much tech investment coming into this country.”
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Sir Keir said: “High taxes are not just the result of low growth; under this government we’ve seen them treat taxpayers like an ATM for their lifestyle.
“Now we find they have written off £8.4billion on PPE and the Chancellor is writing off £4.3billion to fraud. That’s enough to cover the tax hike he’s inflicting on working people.”
Mr Johnson said he is “proud” of the way he has “protected the country,” by looking after British businesses and society during the pandemic with the furlough scheme.
The Leader of the Opposition said working people are “always asked to pay more” as he noted the Prime Minister ordered Tory MPs to oppose a proposed windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas producers.
Sir Keir said: “As a result, the country is missing out on over £1billion he could have used to cut taxes on energy bills for working people.
The increased tax will be used to clear NHS backlogs caused by the pandemic before going towards long term reform on the social care system.
Every worker will now have to pay 1.25 percent more on their National Insurance.
The Prime Minister explained to the MPs what the Government and the country is voting for, and what they have done following the pandemic.
He said: “We are investing now in 45,000 more NHS workers this year than last year. 10,000 more nurses, 5,000 more doctors, nine million more scans and the incredible thing is that the party opposite voted against these funds.
“What we are doing is helping people with the cost of living and cutting taxes for those on Universal Credit.
“As I answered, helping propel with the cost of their fuel with the Cold Weather Payments, the warm homes payments, doing all the things that this country would expect, lifting the living wage, which this party introduced, this Government has increased by a record amount, and above all the most important thing that we are doing is helping people into work.”
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are reported to be pressing ahead with the 1.25 percent National Insurance increase in April despite millions already struggling with their finances.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor said the rise is necessary to pay for the NHS and social care, but commentators are concerned that those on an average income will be hit hard.