The 2017 version of the pasty tax?
At GE2015, less than two years ago, the Conservative made a very specific pledge – if elected there would be no increase in VAT, National Insurance Contributions or income tax.
Well today’s big budget announcement from the Chancellor that the self-employed are going to see the NI contributions going up is going to be a hard one to explain and we’ve already seen the start of a storm brewing. One section of the working population who’ll be affected are freelance journalists and they are going to remember.
The Spectator’s main story on the budget is headed “Biggest loser from this Budget? The credibility of Tory tax promises”.
Already UKIP have seen an opportunity and their most capable figure Suzanne Evans has already started the attacks.
Fortunately for the blue team they face an official opposition led by the hapless Corbyn who barely mentioned the NI increases in his tedious response.
Very specific manifesto pledges have to be treated with great caution. At the very least Hammond needed to have made a convincing case as to the reason which he failed to do.
A mistake which won’t easily go away.