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UK PM hints budget may contain further cut in national insurance

1st Mar 2024 15:57

(Alliance News) - UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has hinted at a cut to national insurance in next week's spring Budget as he spoke to journalists at the Scottish Tory conference.

The prime minister initially refused to be drawn on potential tax cuts to be announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, but stressed his dislike for high national insurance.

Hunt announced in his autumn statement last year that the levy – which is paid by workers across the UK – would drop from 12% to 10% in January.

"The chancellor and the UK government chose to cut national insurance, there were lots of reasons for that, but first and foremost it is a tax on work," he said when asked if there could be further reductions announced next week.

"I believe in a country and society where hard work is rewarded – that's something that's really important to me … and all the people in the government, and cutting national insurance is rewarding hard work."

It is also important to him, the prime minister said, that his government "delivers for people in every part of the UK".

The Scottish government, he said, was "making life harder for working people" by increasing taxes.

"I want to make life easier for people, I want to give them the peace of mind there's a brighter future for them and their families," he said.

MSPs passed the final budget for the next financial year this week, including a new income tax band being created, which will see those on a salary between GBP75,000 and GBP125,140 paying 45%; while a 1% increase to the highest rate of tax – for those earning more than GBP125,140 – will take it to 48p in the pound.

In passing the budget, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison insisted Scotland's tax system was "progressive" and will provide GBP500 million in funding for the NHS.

source: PA

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