Tory MP scrambles to defend Boris Johnson’s cost of living plan as strategy under fire

Richard Holden grilled on cost of living crisis by Iain Dale

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Richard Holden said the Government was already taking significant steps to address the cost of living crisis in the UK. The Conservative MP spoke to LBC’s Iain Dale to explain moves in the Government’s financial plan. He explained: “I think there’s a huge amount that’s already been done.

“You can see, actually, what’s coming forwards in July this year is a rise in the point at which you start to pay national insurance.”

The Government’s plans to increase the threshold at which employees will begin covering national insurance contributions.

Mr Holden said: “Anybody who is earning under £36,000 will see a pretty significant tax cut which is over 70 percent of people who are in work, which is, I think, a great thing. 

“That’s alongside other things we’ve done. 

“Raising the national living wage to £9.50 an hour, that’s going to really help a lot of people.”

He continued: “Also reducing the taper rate of universal credit.

“It sounds slightly complex but for a family on universal credit that could make up to £1000 a year difference.

“That’s something we’ve done in the last few months, so there are things kicking in now.

“That taper rate only kicked in in April and we’ve got a further national insurance cut coming down the line in July.”

Read more: Boris Johnson squirms as Sky reporter exposes key policy failure

The taper rate of Universal Credit is the steady rate of reduction introduced to payments once an individual starts earning through employment.

The current universal credit taper rate is 55 percent, meaning for every £1 earnt over the government allowance, the universal credit payment will be reduced by 55p.

The reduction of the taper rate from 63 percent to 55 percent was introduced as part of the Chancellor’s October budget.

Mr Holden added this move by the Conservative policymakers would help those receiving universal credit who are struggling with the cost of living crisis.

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However, opposition parties have slammed the Government over their strategy, urging the Treasury to set up an emergency budget to help tackle the growing fiscal pressure Britons are facing.

The Queen’s Speech outlining Boris Johnson’s legislative agenda sparked criticism over the lack of information on how to tackle unemployment as well as rising energy costs.

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said he was “disappointed” about the omission of plans for struggling pensioners and families, saying Boris Johnson “offered nothing.”

Labour has been pushing for the implementation of a windfall tax to help cut energy bills.

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