Johnson’s tax hike triggers soul quest among British Conservatives

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has secured parliamentary support for a tax increase that breaks the manifesto, but the move also raises some basic questions about what the Conservatives represent in Britain today. I did.

On Wednesday, the House of Commons voted 319 to 248 in favor of a 1.25 percentage point increase in national insurance premiums, despite serious misfortune among many Conservative lawmakers.

Five conservative backbenchers voted against the bill, and another 37 voted against it, but not all intentionally abstained because they had permission to leave Westminster. bottom.

Johnson said £ 12 billion ($ 17 billion) to reform social welfare funding and help the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) eliminate the untreated portion caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. Said that a tax increase was needed.

This move goes against Johnson’s personal pledge in the 2019 Conservative Election Manifest that he would not raise income tax, VAT, or national insurance.

In a debate prior to voting, Tory lawmaker Jake Berry, who abstained from voting, warned that it was a tax that “never goes down” and “just goes up.”

“This is fundamentally unconservative and will never outperform the Labor Party in the NHS tax arms race, which will have a major impact on the party’s outlook in the long run,” he said.

Another Conservative lawmaker who deliberately abstained, Steve Baker, said his party was “in a terrifying position” and had to “rediscover what it meant” in the era of an ever-expanding welfare state. He said he had to.

“I believe this is just the beginning of an intergenerational crisis of not being able to fund the promises that have been made progressively for 100 years since the National Insurance Act 1911,” he told Congress. Told.

“Now, at some point in our lives, the Conservatives continue to do what we hate and feel we have to do, so what does that mean? Need to rediscover. “

“We will have to do something else. We will have to rediscover our conservative confidence in the free market,” he said, saying the party “to secure a bright, prosperous and free future.” Must be shown to the people. ” It provides their needs in old age, but it does not do it every time the returning finances are squeezed due to higher taxes, as there is ruin going that way. “

“In the end, as a socialist, we all know that you run out of money for others,” he said.

With a strange reversal of their traditional position, the conservative government attacked the opposition Labor Party for voting against the tax increase.

Conservative Co-Chair Amanda Milling said, “They voted against important funding to address the unprocessed portion of COVID in hospitals and reduce the cost of care for the elderly and vulnerable. ..

Workers are unfair to fund the scheme through increased national insurance, “taxing work” and ending the need for people to sell their homes to meet the cost of social care. He insisted that he would not let him.

Conservative newspaper editor Allister Heath The Sunday Telegraph“It’s no longer a sack light, it’s not conservative, it’s a Blu-ray bar,” the Johnson administration said.

“This is a crucial moment in British politics,” he wrote in his editorial, which would cause “extreme and long-lasting” damage.

“Promising no tax increases or cuts was the only weapon the Labor Party couldn’t match, and the most powerful way to remind voters that socialists would steal their money. Now such a pledge will remind voters that the Tories are completely unreliable. “

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan