DAILY MAIL MEMMENT: Spike the increase to combat the cost-of-living crisis

Today, across Britain, one crisis is ending and another appears with frightening speed.

In all other respects, the pandemic seems to have ended. But a cost of living emergency threatens to engulf hundreds of thousands of families – and strangle our post-Covid recovery at birth.

Rising inflation is taking a toll on savings and salary packets. Food and energy prices continue to rise. We report today that home broadband prices are increasing. It’s no surprise that household budgets have become more tight than ever.

But the worst hasn’t even happened yet. National insurance contributions for employees and employers will increase by 1.25 points in April. A worker earning £30,000 will lose £255 a year.

Soaring inflation is eroding pay packets and savings. Energy bills and food prices are increasing

Inflation is rapidly reducing savings and pay packets. Rising food and energy costs are leading to rising prices.

It will have a huge impact. The tax will pull in £12billion a year for the coffers of No11. 

When it was announced, it was portrayed as a rescue package for the social care crisis – a continuing injustice that this newspaper has campaigned to end for a quarter of a century.

We were glad that Boris Johnson had announced the new tax levy last September to address the problem.

There was one catch.

Social care would not receive the cash. It would instead be used to pay off the NHS backlog that was caused by the pandemic for three years.

Put aside for one moment the highly questionable wisdom of lavishing further billions on a health service that continues to swallow more funds per head than most developed nations – yet delivers some of the poorest outcomes. 

It is patently clear that in today’s extreme circumstances – and with the knowledge that this money is not going to help the elderly and their care costs – this levy must be put on hold.

Don’t just take our word for it. Our coverage today shows that economists, politicians, and business leaders agree that it should be spiked for the short-term.

What about the NHS? It has indeed been hit hard by the pandemic. It is possible to get more money if that’s the only way.

The pandemic appears to be over in all but name. But a cost of living emergency threatens to engulf hundreds of thousands of families ¿ and strangle our post-Covid recovery at birth

This pandemic seems to have ended in its entirety. But a cost of living emergency threatens to engulf hundreds of thousands of families – and strangle our post-Covid recovery at birth

Many will be in real distress when the rising cost of living spiral hits. Inevitably, it will be the government that is to blame.

It is up to the Prime Minister to do his best in reducing the devastating consequences of this squeeze for ordinary families. This is a great place to begin: Deferring the tax increase.

End Whitehall WFH

Anyone strolling down Whitehall this week might have assumed they were in a country still in the grip of a pandemic – not one in which the virus was on the run.

Streets are empty – and as our investigation reveals today, government buildings are largely deserted.

It is easy to forget the inefficiency of civil servants working from their cozy sitting rooms, or the psychological toll that junior employees take when they work from home. For them, it often means being isolated to an apartment and little interaction with the outside world.

It’s an insult to the key workers who continue to keep our streets clean and our supermarket shelves stocked with vital supplies.

Mandarins with high salaries should lead the way. These men must obey government orders immediately and return to their desks.

Andrew Marr and David Dimbleby are highly respected at the BBC. They should therefore be listened when both doyens in public broadcasting say the days are gone for the licence fee. The sooner corporation bosses remove their heads from the sand, the better for the BBC – and for Britain.