Speaking on his GB News show, Mr Wootton criticised Rishi Sunak for not changing his policy as the circumstances changed, as he was forced to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. He claimed Mr Sunak’s “intransigence during an equally perilous moment” would cost hard working Brits dearly as they are already struggling to recover from the crippling economic impact of the last two years.
Michael Gove admitted on the Sunday Morning show last weekend that the Government is still planning to raise National Insurance contributions from April, as the extra money is needed to fund the NHS and social care.
Mr Wootton said: “When Covid resulted in the Government, incorrectly in my opinion, locking down the country for many months on end, the Chancellor would often proclaim that changes in circumstances had to result in changes in policy.
“That’s why it’s so frustrating to see the intransigence of Rishi Sunak at an equally perilous moment, as the country faces down a historic war and an unprecedented once-in-a-generation cost of living crisis.
“April is shaping up as a month of hell for ordinary hard working Brits, struggling to get back on track after two years of economy-destroying lockdowns with inflation causing prices to soar.
“So how on Earth can a Conservative Government countenance introducing tax hikes at that very moment?
“Not only does it not make any sense practically, it makes a mockery of the Tories’ pledge to be a low tax party.
“Fuel duty, National Insurance, they must be slashed, at least the hike must be slashed. War means Rishi’s plans need to change.”
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The Chancellor is set to deliver the Spring Statement next week, but is facing calls to scrap the NI rise, reduce fuel duties and remove VAT from household energy bills.
According to the Daily Mail, which has led a campaign to spike the tax hike, a worker on £20,000 could be expected to pay an extra £130 per year, while someone on £50,000 will have to pay £505 extra.
Former Chancellor and PM Gordon Brown told The Sunday Times: “You can’t put up fuel prices, you can’t allow food prices to go up, you can’t raise taxes and cut benefits – you can’t do all these things at the same time.”