Government ‘out of depth and out of ideas’, Starmer says

The government is “out of road, out of depth and out of ideas”, Sir Keir Starmer has said, as he claimed the British public would be paying the price if plans to scrap national insurance go ahead.

In the spring Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a 2p cut in national insurance and outlined a “long-term ambition” to abolish it altogether, but the Labour leader attacked the plan at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

During a speech to his shadow cabinet at St George’s Park in Staffordshire on Monday, Sir Keir hit out at the plan again, saying the Tories are planning to repeat the “Liz Truss spending spree disaster” and the British public would be paying for it.

He said: “If there’s one thing that symbolises the change that we collectively have made in these four hard years, is country before party – the opposite of what we’re seeing under this government, because this government is out of road, out of depth, out of ideas and every day, they give us more evidence of just how out of ideas they are.

“And you know, the latest example is they’re going to repeat the Liz Truss spending spree disaster, and it was a disaster, people smile when she does her tour of the media studios, but ordinary people pay the price for that every single day.

“And they’re now set to repeat it, £46 billion unfunded spending commitment, which Rishi Sunak has made his policy in relation to national insurance, but he won’t say how he is going to pay for it.

“At PMQs last Wednesday, we gave him three chances, which are you going to do? Are you going to rule out cuts to the NHS, are you going to rule out cutting state pension, or are you going to raise income tax, and three times he wouldn’t rule any of those out, three times he refused.

“That will be measured in more chaos, more decline, and of course it won’t be them paying the price but the British public.”