Boris Johnson says he made a request 'in vain' to reporters
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson was joined by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid during a Downing Street press conference on the National Insurance contribution increase. But an attempt to mediate proceedings by Boris Johnson was quickly ignored after he asked journalists in attendance to ask only one direct question to each minister rather than all at the same time. Laura Kuenssberg pushed ahead with her questions to all of the ministers with the PM conceding his request was simply “in vain”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced to the House of Commons an increase of National Insurance by 1.25 percent to pay for social care reforms and to clear the NHS backlog.
The increase, which will be put in place from April 2022, was met with widespread criticism with some stating the tax punishes workers and the young.
The Conservatives also promised in their 2019 manifesto they would not increase National Insurance.
Unlike Income Tax, National Insurance contributions do not massively increase with income meaning those at the top and bottom of earning will essentially pay similar amounts.
After the Commons debate, Mr Johnson held a press conference to field questions from journalists about the plans.
But in an attempt to mediate proceedings following the change from video questions to in-person, Mr Johnson wanted reporters to ask only one question to one minister to avoid confusion.
Ms Kuenssberg was the first invited up but noted it would be “a shame” not to hear from the three ministers considering they were all there and ready to answer.
She asked Mr Johnson what was fair about a tax bill that will see working people bear the brunt of the costs whereas wealthy properties of pensioners are protected.
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She then questioned Mr Javid how much of the new levy would be spent on social care and asked for a breakdown of the expenditures.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak was then also asked if he could confirm the Conservatives were still the party of low taxation.
Mr Johnson thanked Ms Kuenssberg and noted his request was “in vain”.
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