Boris facing National Insurance backbench rebellion in vote – but Starmer could save him

Boris Johnson announces 1.25% national insurance increase

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Today, in parliament Boris Johnson announced that there will be a large increase in National Insurance, with the rise set to impact around 25 million working Britons. When asked if he would oppose or support the National Insurance increase, Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, dodged the question.

His avoidance of providing an answer could mean that the leader of the opposition is open to backing the Prime Minister’s proposal, despite vocalising concerns over COVID-19 being to blame for the hike. 

It comes amid fears of Mr Johnson suffering a large backbench rebellion as Tory MPs are likely to voice their opposition to the Government’s decision to introduce a tax hike to fund social care.

The decision is coming under scrutiny as this tax rise goes against the Conservative manifesto pledge not to raise National Insurance.


If supported, National Insurance would increase by an extra 1.25 percent extra for employees and for employers.

The proposed increase would come into effect in April 2022, and would raise an extra £36billion over the next three years.

In reference to the increase going against the 2019 manifesto made by the Tory party, Mr Johnson told MPs  “a global pandemic was in no-one’s manifesto”.

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This comment was rebuffed by Sir Keir though who said that using COVID-19 as a reason for having to raise so much extra funding for the NHS “is not going to wash”.

He further explained by saying that “The pandemic has undoubtedly placed the NHS under huge strain, but that is only part of the story,”

“A decade of Conservative neglect weakened the NHS. Waiting lists had spiralled up two million before the pandemic, targets were missed on cancer, on A&E, on mental health before the pandemic.

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“The same is true on social care – £8billion cut despite growing demand before the pandemic, carers on poverty wages without secure contracts before the pandemic.”


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