Dominic Raab today admitted he would ‘rather we didn’t have to’ go through with a £12billion hike to national insurance that will clobber British workers.

On TV, Justice Secretary John Bolton was asked about the April hike amid fears that it might be part of a family’s cost of living explosion.

The £12 billion tax grab, announced last year, was originally intended to help fund health and social care, but most of the money for the first three years will go toward clearing the post-Covid NHS backlog.

Sky News’ Mr Raab said today that he preferred not to have to. However, given the current pandemic and how the public finances are being drained we have to. What I don’t want to say is that the direction of government has changed. 

“We’re trying to address our aging population and dementia problems. This prime minister and the government are the first to have grasped the nettle. I don’t want us to slow down on this. 

It came as Tory MPs who have met Chancellor Rishi Sunak to call for action on the cost of living crisis said they have been ‘left with the impression’ that he is trying to distance himself from the increase.

The MPs warned Mr Sunak that the 1.25 Percent rise in prices will cause severe financial hardship to families, at a moment when their bills are rising sharply, as well as inflation, mortgage rates, and council tax.

According to a source, Raji described it as “The Prime Minister’s tax”, which seems quite pointed to put it mildly.

“We felt that he was not interested in being associated with it.”

It has been brought up by former Labour MPs, who have expressed concern that voters will punish them for the increase in ‘Red Wall” Tory MPs.

The revelation comes after our sister paper, the Daily Mail, launched a campaign to ‘spike the hike’ – or risk piling unsustainable pressure on struggling households.

The Justice Secretary was grilled on TV about the planned April rise amid warnings that it would form part of a cost of living bomb set to explode under families.

On TV, Justice Secretary John Bolton was asked about the April hike amid fears that it might be part of a family’s cost-of living explosion.

Tory MPs who have met Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured on Thursday) to call for action on the cost of living crisis have been ‘left with the impression’ that he is trying to distance himself from the hike in National Insurance that takes effect from April

The Tory MPs have been left with the impression that Rishi Sunak is trying to discredit the increase in National Insurance, which will take effect starting April

Boris Johnson and Mr Sunak were at odds over creating the new tax. One source said to The Mail on Sunday that the Chancellor didn’t want to. 

“He thinks we shouldn’t be raising taxes for people who are having trouble getting back on track, especially when we told him we would not.”

“So, he made sure that he played fair with how money was spent. The money will be used to pay a large portion of the costs of establishing the NHS. He will not just give away endless sums of money.

In arguing against the levy in Cabinet, Mr Sunak was joined at that time by Liz Truss (Foreign Secretary), Jacob Rees Mogg (Commons Leader) and Lord Frost (ex-Brexit Minister). They said it would violate the party’s promise to not raise taxes in the last election and damage its reputation as an economic prudent party. 

Lord Frost abruptly quit last month due to tax concerns. Johnson was warned by Frost that he had to regain his passion for free markets…and low taxes if he wants to win next year’s election.

The National Insurance rise will cost a worker on a £30,000 salary around £255 over a year, rising to £505 for anyone earning £50,000 – at a time when energy bills are expected to soar by as much as 50 per cent and inflation is over five per cent. In one year, petrol prices rose by 28%.

Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak are now in talks about plans to alleviate the impact of the cost of living rise, including the possibility of a one-off £500 payment to every family to help with domestic bills.

Sources within the Government stated that the NHS and Social Care Levy were vital in order to provide funding for the NHS so it can clear backlogs from the pandemic. 

The Government has vowed to implement social care reform. This is something which has been largely ignored for far too long. NICs are a progressive method to increase the funds, where everyone contributes according to their ability and is protected by the lowest-paid.

A Government spokesperson said: ‘We’ve taken decisive and historic action, with our Health and Social Care Levy due to raise around £13 billion a year for the NHS and social care.

It is progressive and those who earn more pay more. It will be a benefit to all citizens, paying off the huge backlog caused by the pandemic on NHS operations. Also, it will strengthen the adult social service system, so people don’t have to take the financial risk of having catastrophic healthcare costs. Finally, funding an increase in nurses’ salaries of three percent.

According to the Treasury, “The NHS and Social Care Levy will make sure that the NHS receives the funds necessary for clearing the current backlog.”