- Typical family in Somerset West and Taunton set to pay an extra £122.60 in national insurance contributions (NICs) this year as cost-of-living crunch hits.
- Local businesses are also set to feel the squeeze with £12,303,356 tax hit.
- Lib Dems demand emergency VAT tax cut to put money back in the pockets of struggling families.
Families and businesses in Somerset West and Taunton are facing a £20,505,594 tax bombshell this year due to the Conservative hike to national insurance, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
National Insurance payments went up this week (April 6) from 12.5% to 13.25%, after Boris Johnson’s decision to break a Conservative manifesto promise and hike the tax.
The latest figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility predict that the country is facing a £10.9 billion tax hit this year from the move, with around 40% of this being paid by workers and the rest by businesses.
It means that families in Somerset West and Taunton are set to pay out an estimated £8,202,238 more in National Insurance contributions, or an average of £122.60 each, at a time when families are already facing soaring heating bills.
The Conservatives’ broken promise is also set to hit the District’s high streets hard, with a £12,303,356 tax raid on local businesses including shops, restaurants and cafes.
Local Liberal Democrats have set out plans to “kill two birds with one stone,” by slashing the top rate of VAT to 17.5% this year. The move would save families an average of £600 and give businesses a boost by encouraging spending and keeping prices low. The party has put the issue at the heart of their elections campaign which launched this week.
Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Taunton Deane, Gideon Amos said:
“Families in our area are being crippled by the worst cost of living crisis in a generation,, with many struggling to put food on the table or afford sky-high energy bills.
“The last thing they need is an unfair tax raid. Yet the Conservatives are piling on the misery and breaking their promise not to hike up national insurance, in a move that will hit our community very hard.
“The upcoming local elections will be an opportunity for people to send a message to the government that they can’t afford to take people in Taunton Deane granted any longer.
“Conservatives hinting at a tax cut in time for the next General Election isn’t just cynical it’s wrong – people need help with their bills now, not in a year’s time.
“The Liberal Democrats are fighting for a fair deal that would put money back into people’s pockets through an emergency tax cut. Our plans would kill two birds with one stone, helping those struggling to make ends meet while giving our treasured local businesses the shot in the arm they need.”