Tuesday, June 25, 2024
HomePoliticsLabour dubs Conservative manifesto 'Liz Truss on steroids' and rules out 2p...

Labour dubs Conservative manifesto 'Liz Truss on steroids' and rules out 2p NI cut – LabourList

Labour is “not able” to match the Conservatives’ new general election manifesto pledge to slash the national insurance paid by employees by 2p, warning the “money simply isn’t there”.

The Tories are expected to pledge to cut national insurance again to 6% at their manifesto launch today, after two previous cuts under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, taking it down from 12%. The party has suggested its long-term ambition is to abolish it altogether, prompting warnings from Labour of a £46 billion black hole in Tory spending plans.

Labour has sought to neutralise tax as a political dividing line by ruling out increases to income tax, national insurance and VAT during the campaign, as well as previously vowing to cap corporation tax at its current 25% rate. The Financial Times also reported this week Labour may ditch plans to reinstate the lifetime tax-free pensions allowance that the Tories scrapped last year.

But the opposition appears willing to draw a line in the sand over further national insurance cuts, resisting potential pressure from the Tories and right-wing media for a race to the bottom.

Streeting: ‘Money isn’t there’ for 2p national insurance cut

Asked on BBC Breakfast if Labour would match the latest 2p cut,  Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: “We aren’t able to make that commitment, because the money simply isn’t there.

“Rishi Sunak should level with people that the money isn’t there. He’s taking people for fools.

READ MORE: Labour declines to rule out capital gains tax hikes as Lib Dems vow reform

“They can see that national insurance has been put up time and again by Conservative chancellors, to pay the price of their economic recklessness and vandalism…re-electing these chancers would be like giving the matches back to the arsonists.”

Responding to the Tory manifesto more widely, Streeting urged voters to look carefully at an “enormous and desperate attempt to buy people’s votes.”

There are a “whole raft of unfunded spending commitments and tax cuts”, he said, adding: This is Liz Truss’ ‘mini Budget’ on steroids.”

Read more of our 2024 general election coverage here.

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