'Fiddling While Rome Burns': Tory Peer Condemns Jeremy Hunt Over National Insurance Cut

Right-wing Conservatives believe the chancellor is not going far enough in cutting taxes.
Chancellor dog exercises with his dog Poppy ahead of the Budget.
Chancellor dog exercises with his dog Poppy ahead of the Budget.
Kirsty O'Connor/HM Treasury

A Tory peer has criticised Jeremy Hunt’s decision to only cut national insurance in the Budget.

The Chancellor will slash another 2p off NI - the second such cut in the rate in just four months.

However, he is set to ignore calls from Tory backbenchers for him to reduce income tax as well.

Appearing on Sky News on Tuesday evening, former minister Lord Frost said Hunt was not being ambitious enough.

He said: “The economy is not growing, incomes per head are actually falling and people can feel it.

“We need something that deals with that and I’m afraid, welcome as a 2p cut in national insurance would be, it is really just sort of fiddling while Rome burns, I’m afraid.”

Lord Frost’s comments echo those of other right-wing Conservatives, who want to see income tax come down.

Former home secretary Suella Braverman told GB News: “My preference would be 2p off the basic rate of income tax, and Rishi Sunak himself promised to take a penny off the basic rate and I would go further with 2p because I think that would really send the message that people will be able to keep more of what they earn.”

Meanwhile, another former home secretary, Priti Patel, urged Hunt to end the freeze on tax thresholds, which has dragged millions of workers into paying higher rates on income tax when their wages go up.

She told Sky News: “More and more people are being caught in fiscal drag and paying higher rates of tax, and I think that is one area where, as Conservatives, we should do more to show that we back working households [and[ we back working people.”


What's Hot