New Tory MP Marco Longhi spent his morning badgering colleagues in their ‘Health and Social Care Support’ WhatsApp group offering suggestions as to how the NHS could overcome its ventilator shortage. One such suggestion seemed to include putting Coronavirus patients in grounded aircrafts so they can use the drop down oxygen masks…
Secretary of State for DfID Anne-Marie Trevelyan called the idea “not mad“. Well it is a little air-brained…
The rumour mill is buzzing this morning over which cabinet minister has gone into self-isolation, with the press agreeing not to name them until their test comes back around midday. In the meantime, a slight farce has sparked over at Westminster Digital – the firm which specialises in making videos for MPs – as founder Craig Dillon has had to self-isolate for a second time over Coronavirus scares. Craig was one of the first Londoners to be tested back in January after returning from China and coming down with an illness. He’s once again staying at home after greeting Nadine Dorries with a kiss at last Thursday’s International Women’s Day reception – where he was filming a ‘day in the life’ video for Anne-Marie Trevelyan:
Craig joins the six MPs now self-isolating, so far…
Anne-Marie Trevelyan has released a slick video in which she asks Lieutenant General Richard Nugee (who happens to be Lady Nugee’s brother in law) left a little taken aback when she asked if he was a “Snowflake, selfie addict, me me me millennial, phone zombie, or binge gamer” when he was 18. Sadly he didn’t give a straight answer…
Tory conference finally saw the energy and passion it has been lacking this week courtesy of the InHouse Communications karaoke night. Partygoers witnessed peak Matt Hancock as he took to the stage to sing Happy Birthday to himself, before performing a high octane duet of Don’t Stop Me Now with Therese Coffey (watch above). James Cleverly and Kelly Tolhurst attempted Don’t Go Breaking My Heart before Clevz redeemed himself with a more impressive rendition of Twist and Shout, complete with memorable hip action. Will Quince demonstrated surprising depth as he had the room hand-waving to My Way. Nigel Evans gave us Delilah, David Mundell just about made his way through 500 Miles and a Brexit-backing cross-party trio of Paul Scully, Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Ian Paisley Jnr had the room rocking to Sweet Caroline. Then it was the turn of the Lobby…
Faisal Islam took great pleasure in adapting the lyrics of Don’t Look Back in Anger to belt out “So, Boris can wait” – just the latest MSM smear. Dan Hodges and Glen Owen teamed up with Number 10 Sunday Lobby specialist Kirsty Buchanan to murder Mr Brightside. An emotional David Wooding, one arm raised aloft, sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, the only time he’ll be able to do that in Manchester. The night ended with Number 10’s Richard “Tricky” Jackson nailing You Raise Me Up. Hic…
Philip Hammond faces a Tory revolt over his broken National Insurance promise. The government has a working majority of 17 and Guido counts 19 Tory MPs who have already publicly opposed the policy. Many more are privately furious that they have been made to look like promise breakers by the Chancellor. Below are just those who have gone public so far…
“It goes against every principle of Conservative understanding of business. We understand that taking risks is what stimulates growth. It impacts people who are putting themselves at risk, their houses on the line, to create new growth. It’s the wrong way round and sends a very poor message.”
“The biggest issue is national insurance contributions… I would be cautious about this change, and I urge the Government to look at the whole question of the relationship between national insurance and income tax in the round.”
“I urge a rethink. We should be encouraging the self-employed, start-ups and people who are taking risks and carrying those risks themselves. We should recognise that through support, yes, but we should do so particularly through taxation.”
“It is very important to ensure that we do not disadvantage self-employed people. The Conservative Party always has been and, I hope, always will be the party that supports white van man and—may I say on this particular day?—white van woman… I hope very much that we will have some reassurance from Treasury Ministers that plumbers, electricians, plasterers and people of that sort will not be disadvantaged”
“Clearly, a tax rise that discourages any kind of activity is not attractive, especially when our economy is quite reliant on self-employment… that rise will be unwelcome news to people who are probably struggling and not getting all the rights to which they are entitled”
“We need to ensure that it is as easy as possible to get into self-employment, and that it is as worthwhile as possible when people are successful. I always think it is a good idea to try to confine taxes, and certainly tax rises, to things that we do not approve of very much… We should not go out of our way to tax work, enterprise and success. I know we have to do some of that, because we need a lot of revenue for the range of public services we offer, but our taxes on those things are quite high enough.”
“We are taxing those families who have taken on the risk of setting up their own small business, many of which employ apprentices and are the backbone of our economy.”
“I understand that there are distortions when people are self-employed, but I think this should be kept under review.”
“I can’t say I’m overjoyed at the action the Chancellor has taken because self-employed people are a great asset to the local and the national economy. You have also got to consider that they sometimes don’t qualify for other benefits. Clearly, the view of the Treasury is that there was an anomaly which needed to be rectified. But, as we all know, you resolve one anomaly and another often appears somewhere else.”
“This could be 1st u turn …. this will not be popular & many will argue it’s unfair”
“I don’t like this bit much… we have to look at this in the round to make sure we are not hurting entrepreneurial classes… we need to square this with not just the letter but the spirit of the commitment.”
Iain Duncan Smith:
“I would like to see this kept under review… We all saw what happened to President Bush senior, “read my lips”, so some of us were slightly concerned at the time about making pledges that lock you in.”
“There is a concern that this will hit home shortly before we ask people for their votes in the next general election.”
“I believe we should apologise. I will apologise to every voter in Wales that read the Conservative manifesto in the 2015 election.”
“It is right that the self-employed and employed should pay similar National Insurance Contributions but the self-employed are different from employees – they are the risk takers and entrepreneurs that spearhead growth and productivity in our economy and do not have the same protections as employees. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the growth in self-employment has driven our labour market and rises in NI will make many people have second thoughts about striking out on their own. People who work for themselves and who set up and run companies should be encouraged. Instead, the Chancellor has singled them out for a £1,425m tax hike on the misleading premise that they pay less tax than their peers, completely ignoring the risks they take and the lack of security in their employment.”
Anne Marie Morris:
“The changes to National Insurance defy belief! What did the chancellor think he was doing? Increasing the rate of “Class 4” contribution from 9 per cent to 11 per cent over two years! At least he kept his word and abolished “Class 2″ contributions which was unfair, not well understood and not related to income or profit. But while Class 4 contributions are profit related and therefore “fairer”, this was I suspect not the reason for the change but a post-decision marketing strap line. It has all the hallmarks of the “pasty tax” own goal.”
“I’m surprised that the Chancellor chose to raise national insurance for the self-employed. It’s going to bring in only £135million over the rest of this Parliament and some people might consider it a breach of a manifesto pledge. I don’t think it’s worth it.”
Karl McCartney also tells Guido he opposes the rise.
“May right to pause on self employed N I rise-precision engineering needed not bulldozer to tackle those only going self employed as tax ruse”
Will the NICs rise survive or is a u-turn coming?
Osborne faces defeat on his Budget motion next Tuesday unless he can deal with the Eurosceptic rebellion on the tampon tax – not repealed by the chancellor today thanks to Brussels. Tory MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan says:
The people we elect should be responsible for setting the taxes in this country – not unelected EU judges and bureaucrats. It is a fundamental principle of democracy that there should be no taxation without representation which is what we now have.
‘Our Chancellor is unable to take this decision that will benefit women because VAT is controlled by the EU.
Will the Outers scupper the smooth passage of the Budget?