Cost of living crisis: Social Security increases today

Boris Johnson speaks Russian as he urges citizens to uncover the truth about Ukraine ‘atrocities’

Boris Johnson’s National Insurance hike has been criticized by the Liberal Democrats who say the tax hike comes at the ‘wrong time’ as Britons face a growing cost of living crisis.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, said the increase – which comes just days after household bills were sent skyrocketing after the price cap was lifted – “puts the full burden on workers”, which was “wrong”.

His party is calling for an emergency tax cut to help people who are “having so much trouble”.

Ministers have sought to defend the hike, which is set to raise billions to help reduce the Covid-induced NHS backlog and later reform long-term adult social care.

“I think it’s fair that we pay for what we’re going to use as a country, but we’re doing it fairly,” said Sajid Javid, the health secretary.


Chancellor ‘raises taxes left, right and centre’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is raising taxes “left, right and centre”, Ed Davey said.

The Liberal Democrat leader spoke to Times Radio earlier when the National Insurance contribution hike came into effect.

He argued that better-than-expected VAT returns meant Sunak could have delayed the hike if he wanted.

More comments from Davey below:

Matt MatherApril 6, 2022 11:11 a.m.


Javid defends decision not to include trans people in gay conversion therapy ban

The Health Secretary said it was right that when it comes to conversion therapy for transgender people, ‘we need to be more careful’.

Speaking on Sky News, Sajid Javid was asked if it was okay to administer an electric shock to someone who feels they are in the wrong body.

He quickly replied, “No, I don’t think so. No, no, of course not.”

When asked why this was removed from the Queen’s Speech Bill, so that transgender people would continue to undergo this type of conversion therapy, Mr Javid said: ‘As far as therapy goes conversion therapy, that’s absolutely right, because the government has said that we ban so-called conversion therapy for LGB people. When it comes to trans, I think we need to be more careful.

The Health Secretary highlighted the interim report by Dr Hilary Cass, saying: ‘She spoke about how children and young people when they say they have gender dysphoria it is right that medical experts can question this and determine what may be causing it.

“Is this a real case of gender identity dysphoria or is this person suffering from child sexual abuse, for example, or could this be bullying related?”

When pressed further, Mr Javid said: ‘I don’t think anyone should be given an electric shock,’ adding: ‘I think that would be considered abuse and it would already be against the law.’

The Health Secretary said it was right that when it comes to conversion therapy for transgender people, ‘we need to be more careful’.

Matt MatherApril 6, 2022 10:55 a.m.


Putin’s actions in Ukraine ‘close to genocide’, shadow minister says

Putin’s actions in Ukraine are “close to genocide”, a shadow cabinet minister has said.

Peter Kyle, the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, spoke to Sky News on Wednesday morning.

“What we need to do now is, where possible, collect evidence” of possible war crimes, he said.

Matt MatherApril 6, 2022 10:24 a.m.


‘People find it reassuring that the Tories only care about power’: Tony Blair explains how Labor can win

The former prime minister took questions from students at King’s College London and revealed what he thinks is the key to beating the Tories, writes our chief political commentator, John Rentoul.

Read his full article here:

Matt MatherApril 6, 2022 10:12 am


Rishi Sunak ‘refuses to fund greener homes plan to reduce energy bills’

The Treasury is said to have blocked plans for hundreds of millions of pounds to be spent on making homes more energy efficient, which in turn would cut bills amid the cost of living crisis.

My colleague Eleanor Sly has more details below:

Matt MatherApril 6, 2022 9:50 a.m.


Brexit set to make UK more dependent on food imports, MPs warn

Labor shortages largely caused by Brexit are set to make Britain more dependent on food imports, MPs have warned.

A new report from the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has said Britain’s food production industry will shrink “permanently” unless the problems are addressed.

Our political correspondent Peter Jon reports:

Matt MatherApril 6, 2022 9:30 a.m.


Morally unfair for our children to pay for social care, says Javid

It would be “morally wrong” to let “our children pay for our adult health care and social care”, said Sajid Javid.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the Health Secretary said: ‘The choice for us as a country is that we put this money in ourselves now, and if we don’t do it ourselves we will have to l ‘to borrow. And this mortgages the future of our children and our grandchildren.

“I think it’s not just economically bad and opens more risks for public finances, I think it’s morally bad.

“Why should our children pay for our adult healthcare and social services? They will have enough challenges as they grow. I think that will be the wrong approach.

It would be “morally wrong” to let “our children pay for our adult health care and social care”, said Sajid Javid.

Matt MatherApril 6, 2022 9:12 a.m.


“Now is just not the time for the Tories to add all these unfair tax hikes”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey has said his party wants an emergency tax cut.

He told Sky News: “When people face huge increases in their energy bills, in food bills, in the cost of filling up the car – it’s just not the time for the Tories to add all these unfair tax increases.”

Zoe TidmanApril 6, 2022 8:56 a.m.


Sajid Javid has asked for an extra £350million a week for the Brexit NHS

Sajid Javid was asked what happened to the £350m-a-week that ‘we would get for Brexit NHS’.

The Health Secretary told LBC Radio: ‘The extra funding that was promised to the NHS before the pandemic hit, to remind your listeners, that was an extra £34billion a year by 2024. That’s all there.

“It always happens, it continues. The NHS gets this funding.

“What we’re talking about today is an extra £39billion over the next three years, with every penny of the new levy going towards that. It’s to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

Zoe TidmanApril 6, 2022 8:47 a.m.


Sajid Javid dodges Partygate question

Sajid Javid dodged a question about Partygate, saying he would not discuss “matters of law”.

Ashley Cowburnour political correspondent has more:

Zoe TidmanApril 6, 2022 8:42 a.m.

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Edward L. Robinett