Budget 2017: 'Jeremy Corbyn's response to national insurance hike was hopeless', says Times Red Box Editor

Budget 2017: 'Jeremy Corbyn's response to the National Insurance hike was hopeless', says Times Red Box Editor

Matt Chorley told Julia Hartley-Brewer how the Labour leader's response wasn't on point

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A leading journalist has said Jeremy Corbyn produced a "hopeless" response to the planned increase in self-employed national insurance contributions outlined in Wednesday's Budget. 

The hike continues to cause a stir in Parliament, with Labour MPs leading the criticism by accusing Chancellor Philip Hammond of breaking a pledge to freeze tax and NI contributions for the duration of this Parliament.

Matt Chorley, editor of the Times Red Box, told Julia Hartley-Brewer Labour's leader set a poor example in his response.

He said: "His [Jeremy Corbyn] response to the NI hike was pretty hopeless and I don’t think we should be overly surprised at this.

"The fact this self-employment tax raise was floating around the papers for a few days didn’t prompt anyone in [Mr Corbyn's] office to do up a side of A4 to tell him what to speak about.

"I spoke to a Labour source who was trying to get a line up and running on what the party position was on the self-employment changes.

"It took several hours before we heard anything from John McDonnell, saying they opposed the changes."