As Boris prepares to outline his plans to whack up National Insurance later today (in what’s now being spun as a ‘health and social care levy‘), vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi made the media round this morning to try and justify the move in the face of the inevitable backlash from the media, the public, and his own party. Not the easiest start to his Tuesday, Guido’s sure.
Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley, Zahawi hesitated over the effectiveness of the manifesto-breaking plans, saying:
“I think you have to at least have a really good go at making sure you fix the problem… it would be presumptuous and I think completely arrogant to say ‘of course, Kay, it will fix the problem‘… the right thing to do is to deliver the reform of social care, and the investment of social care. You’ve got to make sure that is operationalised… I think, actually, when you see the details of what the Prime Minister will set you, you’ll see that this is a Prime Minister who’s serious about fixing the problem…”
Asked later on the Today Programme whether he or even most of the Cabinet had actually seen the plan, Zahawi simply said “let the Prime Minister stand up at the despatch box and announce it“. Guido understands that in the Cabinet only the chancellor, health secretary and PM have seen the plan. Nadhim can look forward to hearing the details along with the rest of us at midday today…