Dan Wootton: To save Britain Rishi Sunak must prove he is a low-tax Tory and spike the hike

There’s growing evidence the tax increase isn’t even financially necessary

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Rishi Sunak constantly and consistently likes to assure us he is a low-tax Tory.

But the reality of our current financial predicament – sparked by two years of devastating restrictions to the economy thanks to largely unnecessary lockdowns – does not suggest he’s telling the truth.

In fact, the tax burden on everyday Brits is now at the highest level in 70 years.

Tomorrow, the Chancellor has an opportunity to change that.

There’s a war in Ukraine, massive energy shortages and soaring inflation all leading to the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation.

But for some unbelievable reason, he still intends to go ahead with a 1.25 per cent increase to National Insurance – with the proceeds funnelled into the forever expanding NHS blackhole and, eventually, he insists, social care.

What utter madness, when it’s the high-tax Labour party trying to save the Chancellor from himself.

There’s growing evidence the tax increase isn’t even financially necessary, with economists for Goldman Sachs estimating the state has acquired an extra £45 billion and £75 billion through taxes and a growing economy.

No wonder true blue Tories are pulling their hair out.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Cabinet ministers and senior Tories have made a last-ditch appeal to Rishi – who doesn’t feel quite so dishy these days – to spike the hike.

At least five Cabinet ministers are backing a deferral or wiping it out for lower-paid workers, the most likely option to be announced in tomorrow’s spring budget statement.

As one Cabinet minister told the newspaper anonymously:

"There are a number of us who aren't very happy about the NI rise. It is not uniformly popular in the Cabinet, nor in the party."

Some Tory MPs have been brave enough to speak out publicly.

Philip Davies said:

"The Chancellor should delay it. If you don't believe in cutting taxes during a cost-of-living crisis, then when are you going to cut taxes? It is absolutely imperative that we don't go ahead with this NI rise. It would be a mistake of gigantic proportions.”

John Redwood said:

“Cancel the NI rise, cancel VAT on domestic fuel, cancel VAT on green products and give a bit back on fuel duty.”

Peter Bone said:

"I am absolutely against the increase in NI. It's a tax on jobs. It should not be something a Conservative Chancellor should be doing.”

It’s so easy to blame the current economic quagmire on the war, which certainly hasn’t helped global markets.

But anti-lockdown folk like me have been warning for the past two years the grave consequences of shutting down the global economy.

And here we are.

How depressing that Rishi thinks moving towards a socialist big state/high tax model is the answer.

Because, trust me, that’s never the answer.

Watch Dan Wootton Tonight live every Monday to Thursday from 9pm - only on GB News.