IndyRef2: Boris Johnson tells SNP MP ‘good luck’
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The House of Commons returned from recess with the Conservative’s new social care plans and the National Insurance contribution rise leading the proceedings on Tuesday. But as Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially unveiled the plans and fielded questions from backbenchers, SNP’s Stephen Flynn pushed the PM for an answer on whether the controversial tax rises would increase support for Scottish independence. Mr Johnson then mocked the politician and wished him “good luck” and demanded the SNP return the healthcare money if they did not want it.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to the House of Commons an increase of National Insurance by 1.25 percentage points to pay for social care reforms and to clear the NHS backlog.
The increase, which will be put in place from April 2022, was met with widespread criticism with some stating the tax punishes workers and the young.
The Conservatives also promised in their 2019 manifesto they would not increase National Insurance.
Unlike Income Tax, National Insurance contributions do not massively increase with income meaning those at the top and bottom of earning will essentially pay similar amounts.
Boris Johnson demanded the SNP give back the health money if they did not want it (Image: Parliament TV)
Stephen Flynn said the taxes means Scotland bails out England (Image: Parliament TV)
From April 2023, National Insurance will return to current rates and a new health and social care tax will be introduced which will be marked at 1.25 percent.
Mr Flynn grilled the Prime Minister on the tax rises and said: “Let’s be clear, Scottish taxpayers are being asked to bail out England’s failing social care system.
“A system created by the UK Government opposite.
“Can I ask the Prime Minister in all good sincerity, does he believe his new poll tax will help or hinder the cause of Scottish independence?”
Boris Johnson announces 1.25% national insurance increase
Stephen Flynn wanted to know if the PM thought the taxes would bolster Scottish independence (Image: Parliament TV)
Mr Johnson quickly retorted: “Good luck with that one is all I can say to him.
“Because what the people in Scotland are getting and the whole of the UK are getting is £2.2billion more and a £300million union dividend.
“If they don’t want to spend it on health and social care, if they don’t want to spend it at all…
“If he is handing this money back then let’s hear it from the Scottish Nationalists – do they or don’t they?”
The 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance means someone on £20,000 a year would pay an extra £130 whereas someone on £50,000 would pay £505 more.
The Government also announced the scrapping of the triple lock on pensions during the House of Commons session.
The House of Commons debated the new health care reforms soon after their return from recess (Image: Parliament TV)
Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey announced for the year 2022-23 pensions would rise by 2.5 percent or inflation, whichever is higher.
The triple lock says pensions would increase each year either by 2.5 percent, inflation but also earnings depending on whichever is higher.
But the pandemic has led to an artificial increase in wages which would have seen the Government paying pensioners 8 percent more – the earnings side of the triple lock.
The triple lock was therefore scrapped for this year only while the UK recovers from the pandemic.
Inflation is tipped to rise by 3.1 percent for the 2021-22 tax year.
Mr Johnson earlier admitted to MPs that he was reluctant to have had to break the promises.