Tory manifesto will include pledge to slash National Insurance payments, Boris Johnson reveals

Posted On: 
20th November 2019

A Conservative government would introduce a major tax cut for millions of workers by increasing the National Insurance threshold, Boris Johnson has revealed.

The Prime Minister was answering questions from workers at a fabrication yard in Teeside
Credit: 
PA

In an apparent slip-up, the Prime Minister said the Tories wanted to increase the salary at which NI contributions kick in to £12,000 a year.

His announcement, while taking questions at a factory in Teesside, sent Conservative spin doctors into a panic as it was supposed to remain under wraps until the party's election manifesto is unveiled on Sunday.

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Asked by a worker whether his plans for lower taxes were for "people like you or people like us", Mr Johnson replied: “I mean low tax for...working people. 

"If we look at what we’re doing, and what I’ve said in the last few days, we’re going to be cutting National Insurance up to £12,000,  we’re going to be making sure that we cut business rates for small businesses. 

"We are cutting tax for working people."

At the moment, the National Insurance threshold is £8,628. The Tory manifesto is expected to pledge to increase it to £9,500 initially, with the ambition of taking it to £12,500 over the next 10 years.

According to Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, every increase of £1,000 in the threshold costs the Treasury £3bn.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: "Even after 10 years of cruel cuts and despite creaking public services, the Tories still think the answer to the challenges of our time is a tax cut of £1.64 a week, with those on Universal Credit getting about 60p.

"Meanwhile independent experts have said this will cost up to £11 billion so everyone who relies on public services and social security will be wondering whether they will be paying the price.

"The Tories are stuck in the 1980s while a Labour government will tackle head-on the climate and human emergencies of our time."