Tory MP on Philip Hammond NI debacle: 'Everyone makes mistakes'

NI U-Turn: 'Employment contracts must be flexible to match the changing economy', says MP Tom Tugendhat

Philip Hammond announced a U-turn on the NI hike

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Philip Hammond made a simple mistake with his National Insurance Budget policy and he's done well to admit it, according to a Tory colleague.

Tom Tugendhat had rebelled against the Government by voting against the NI hike, but he said the Chancellor had done the right thing by "fessing up."

Mr Hammond continues to face a blizzard of criticism, after he was forced into a humiliating u-turn on a planned hike in National Insurance obligations for self-employed workers.

Some have suggested the Budget was going to be voted down in the Commons, but Tugendhat said this was simply a case of listening to criticism.

He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Listening in a political sense is all about democracy, democracy is all about getting the voices of communities heard.

“We all make mistakes and if you make one sort it out fess up to it, and that’s what he’s done."

Tugendhat also rejected Julia's suggestion that, by rebelling against the NI hike, he had actually helped maintain a regressive tax system.

He continued: “As the economy is changing massively, and it’s not just Brexit... [that] means that we are going to have to be much more flexible on how we run employment contracts."

Listen to the full interview above