The Government has insisted it is "fully committed" to introducing a National Insurance contribution (NIC) rise in the spring after reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson was "wobbling" on the issue.
Johnson previously presented the 1.25 percentage point increase due to come into force in April 2022 as a way to tackle the NHS backlog and reform social care.
The rise and subsequent ‘health and social care tax' planned for April 2023 is expected to collect £36 billion over the next three years.
But a senior backbencher said Johnson was "wobbling" over the move after increasing opposition to the hike amid the cost of living crisis and the so-called ‘partygate' scandal.
Pressed on the report, a No. 10 spokesperson said:
"The prime minister and chancellor are fully committed to introducing the health and social care levy in April."
Julian Jessop, economics fellow at the free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs urged the Government to "ditch" the hike, claiming the better-than-expected economic recovery is "increasing tax revenues".
"It is entirely credible to use the growth dividend to pay for the costs, rather than adding even more to the tax burden by raising NICs now", he added.
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