National Insurance rise to go ahead next month despite cost of living fears, Michael Gove confirms

The Government will go ahead with increasing National Insurance payments next month despite growing concerns about the soaring cost of living, Michael Gove has confirmed.

The Levelling Up Secretary told BBC’s Sunday Morning programme that the controversial move is vital to help fund the NHS and social care.

The 1.25 percentage point increase to National Insurance is due to take effect from April 6 and is expected to raise £12 billion a year for health and social care services, but it breaks Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 2019 election manifesto commitment not to raise taxes.

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Mr Gove said the Government was "very aware" that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was adding to cost of living pressures, particularly as sanctions as Russia affect oil and gas prices.

Michael Gove has confirmed the National Insurance rise will go ahead next month.Michael Gove has confirmed the National Insurance rise will go ahead next month.
Michael Gove has confirmed the National Insurance rise will go ahead next month.

Presenter Sophie Raworth asked whether the Government intends to cut taxes in the Spring Statement, which is happening on March 23, to assist struggling households.

Mr Gove said: "No, what we have to do at the moment is to provide support in every way possible that is targeted.

"We have cut taxes by cutting council tax for people who are on the lower bands. We are doing that deliberately to target support at those who are on lower incomes at a time when we know they face considerable pressures.

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"But behind your question is maybe a suggestion we should do away with the National Insurance increase. No, we are not doing that.

"We need that National Insurance increase in order to ensure we can fund the NHS and social care to deal with the Covid backlog."

When asked whether the increase could be postponed for a year, Mr Gove said: "I don't think we should do that. But I do think we should keep under review all the measures we have to provide support."

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