Phillip Hammond NI U-Turn: Tories seem intent on self-destruction, says Taxpayers' Alliance

Phillip Hammond NI U-Turn: 'The Tories seem intent on destroying themselves', says Taxpayers' alliance official

The Chancellor has scrapped his controversial hike on self-employed National Insurance contributions

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A leading official at the Taxpayers' Alliance has called Phillip Hammond's u-turn over the policy to raise self-employed National Insurance contributions a sign the Tories seem "intent on destroying themselves."

The measure had been the main feature of the Chancellor's first budget, and caused outrage across the nation after it was announced last week. 

Some of the anger came from the fact the measure would have breached a Conservative pledge in the 2015 election manifesto, which pledge a tax freeze for the duration of the current Parliament.

Mr. Hammond has continued to defend the policy, which he says would have helped to balance the tax system, but did admit the hike would have affected "the spirit" of the election manifesto.

Dia Chakravarty, the Taxpayers' Alliance political director, spoke to Paul Ross about the decision.

She said: "We thought it was a bad idea from the beginning, not the least of which [was] the breaking of a manifesto promise.

"If you think of the plight of the colleagues of Phillip Hammond, they’d been sent out to defend a difficult policy, only to find out their boss isn’t really backing it after all.

"It’s just extraordinary, the way its unfolded. It seems like because they have so little opposition at the moment, the Tories seem intent on destroying themselves.

"It’s fascinating to watch."