Ministers are scrambling to find a way of defusing a mounting cost of living catastrophe with energy and food bills soaring and the tax burden getting more serious.
Experts have warned that the squeeze could be even more destructive than the credit crunch 14 years ago, thanks to a toxic mix of spiking prices, the imminent national insurance hike, and over a million people being pulled into the higher rate of tax.
Tory MPs are hitting the panic button over the possibility of the eye-watering £12 billion NI increase taking effect in April, with the backlash sparking an uneasy standoff between Jacob Rees-Mogg and Rishi Sunak in Cabinet.
The Chancellor is defying calls to ditch the 1.25 percentage point bump, which is intended to finance the NHS catch-up after COVID and social care reforms.
Meanwhile, frenzied talks are continuing between the government and the energy industry about how to relieve the pain of surging gas costs for families.
Households could see their bills go up another fifty per cent in the spring when the level of the cap is due to be adjusted in line with wholesale prices, and new figures have indicated that another 1.2 million people will be dragged into the 40p tax rate over the next four years after the threshold was frozen as part of Rishi Sunak’s hopeless endeavours to balance the books after the pandemic.
In a round of discussions, business minister Paul Scully insisted the government was looking at ways to relieve the pressure, but he was also left squirming on Sky News as he struggled to say how much a pint of milk costs, ranting that he bought it in big cartons and as part of bigger shops.
Meanwhile, Tory infighting has intensified with an MP accusing Jacob Rees-Mogg of crying crocodile tears about the NI increase.
Jake Berry, chair of the Northern Research Group of backbenchers, told Times Radio that you don’t have to be a genius to see this coming down the line and that Jacob Rees-Mog, when this was proposed, had the ability then, to oppose it like he did, this increase in National Insurance, and that it was all very well to turn around the crocodile tears and say, look what my policies have created.
He said that this shouldn’t have happened. In fact, the time to do something about it was when it was opposed, so if Jacob Rees-Mogg wants to vote with his feet that was up to him.
Take your pick. The Brexit deal, COVID, the economy – every aspect of this government governing has been embroiled with incompetence, that’s not even getting into the billions they’ve wasted in bad decision making, and Boris Johnson has become the death destroyer of the economy and this is Boris Johnson’s new mantra.
The media should have exposed Boris Johnson’s total ineptitude for the job years ago, but instead, they covered for him.
And all those people crying for lockdowns, more restrictions, track and trace and over 1.5 million tests a day, well the piper needs paying, or did everyone think it all came for free?
There are approximately 12.4 million pensioners in the United Kingdom, and now the government plan on making all prescriptions payable over the age of 60. They want to take away their bus passes and are now making them pay for their TV licence. Maybe it’s time to think about who we will vote for in the next general election.
Of course, the other choice to vote for was Jeremy Corbyn, and even though Boris Johnson is a hapless catastrophe, if you believe that voting Jeremy Corbyn would have been any better, then someone out there has some magic beans to sell us.