- Tory Budget rebellion on national insurance rise
- Minister calls on his own Government to 'apologise'
- IFS warns Britain is facing another five years of austerity
- Tory MPs want change 'put on hold' or even reversed
- The 20 times Tories tweeted saying they wouldn't raise NIC
- 'We need to halt this particular decision now'
- The reaction that Philip Hammond would rather not see
- Winners and losers from the Budget
- All the key points from the Budget at a glance
A senior Tory minister has called on the Government to apologise for controversial plans to hike national insurance, after Theresa May's official spokesman refused four times to rule out a review of the changes.
Gutto Bebb, the Conservative Welsh minister, hit out at the proposals and called on the Government to "apologise."
On Wednesday Philip Hammond increased National Insurance payments for the self-employed by 2 per cent– which the Tories promised repeatedly they would not do – and hit savers with a tax on dividend payments.
Mr Bebb said: "I will apologise to every voter in Wales that read the Conservative manifesto in the 2015 election."
Asked repeatedly if the Government could guarantee that there would be no review of the policy, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "The point of this Budget is to address an unfairness that has existed for some time."
Iain Duncan Smith added his voice to calls for a rethink of proposed changes to National Insurance contributions after Mr Hammond suggested that Brexit is responsible for the Government's tax raid.
This morning the Chancellor insisted that "Britain's circumstances have moved on" after he was accused of breaking a key Conservative manifesto pledge.
Mr Hammond insisted Britain's circumstances had "moved on" since the 2015 election as a result of the vote to leave the European Union.
He said it was his responsibility to make sure the UK's economy was "match-fit" to cope with the uncertainties caused by Brexit.
Speaking on ITV1's Good Morning Britain, the Chancellor said: "Britain's circumstances have moved on.
"We are now facing the challenge of leaving the European Union, of building a global Britain to exploit the opportunities in the future that this country can enjoy, and we need to invest to do that."
But he later denied that self-employed workers were paying the price for Brexit.
How many times does Hammond refuse to apologise?
PM avoids reporters
PM has arrived at summit without going anywhere near reporters -official reason is they were late, but other leaders still turning up— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) March 9, 2017
Here at EU Council in Brussels it looks like Theresa May has been sneaked in the back door, presumably to avoid Qs on National Insurance— Jack Blanchard (@Jack_Blanchard_) March 9, 2017
'We have broken solemn promise'
Bob Blackman, the Tory MP for Harrow East, has voiced concerns over the proposed national insurance hikes.
He told MPs:
I do think we need to look at this very, very carefully, however, because there was a solemn promise in the manifesto not to increase national insurance.
And the reality is I worry that the accusation can be made that it is a bit like signing the contract but failing to look at the fine print and the small print that exists.
I do think we need to look at it carefully because I do think that across the country there are many people who have gone into self-employment who are on relatively low rates of pay, are taking the risks themselves of being entrepreneurs and we want to encourage those people to be entrepreneurs, to invest in their businesses and invest in their livelihoods.
I think the point at which people have got to be paying more is far too low, and I trust that the Treasury will look at this issue and see if we can introduce appropriate tapers.
Tory Minister: I believe we should apologise
Gutto Bebb, the Conservative Welsh minister, has hit out at the changes.
Speaking to the Welsh language BBC Radio Cymru, he said:
I believe we should apologise.
I will apologise to every voter in Wales that read the Conservative manifesto in the 2015 election.
'A tax on ambition'
Scottish National Party economy spokesman Stewart Hosie described the NIC hike as "a tax on ambition".
He told MPs:
It is utter hypocrisy from the Tories and will hit many hard-working businesses across Scotland.
In recent weeks the Tories have been arguing for tax breaks for the wealthiest in Scotland, all the while storing up a tax hike on the self-employed and planning to break their manifesto commitments.
MP defends NI changes
Rishi Sunak, the Tory MP for Richmond, has defended the proposals for National Insurance contributions (NICs).
Speaking in the House of Commons, he told MPs:
I believe it is right that those who benefit from public services make an appropriate contribution to paying for them, and that is what this Budget's changes to National Insurance will do.
Britain is facing another five years of austerity
Britain is facing another five years of austerity after the election in 2020 with spending cuts and tax rises, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that Britain is "on course" to borrow £20billion in 2020, £30billion more than forecast a year ago.
Paul Johnson, the head of the IFS said:
That leaves a lot of work to do in the next Parliament to get the planned budget balance.
It looks like being, I'm afraid, a third Parliament of austerity.
The desire to get to budget balance during the next Parliament, especially the demographic pressures, will necessitate yet more years of spending restraint and perhaps yet another post-election tax rise.
'After that Budget I won't be able to make ends meet'
Britain's highest earners have had 'particularly bad decade'
Britain's highest earners have had a "particularly bad decade" and will be "disproportionately hit" by Brexit, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.
The think tank said that earnings for the low paid will rise faster than high earners because of the impact of the Government's national living wage.
It said that the closing gap between the rich and the news is "bad news" for the Government because it will raise less tax.
The think tank said that overall Britain will have gone the equivalent of 15 years without a pay rise because of the impact of Brexit.
IFS accuses Philip Hammond of breaking manifesto pledge over NI & compares it to Gordon Brown's broken promise not to raise income tax— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) March 9, 2017
Paul Johnson, the head of the IFS, said:
Overall the highest earners, the top 1 per cent, are having a particularly bad decade. Our calculations suggest that the top 1 per cent, having pulled away from the rest over the 2000s, are being reeled back in.
That compression of earnings distribution looks set to continue. Which will keep earnings inequality down. But it is bad news from the point of view of tax revenues.
Going forward the OBR warns that 'the top end will be disproportionately hit by the UK exiting the EU'.
Hammond: Most self-employed will actually pay less NI
IFS hits out at NI rise
Philip Hammond's decision to raise national insurance is comparable to Gordon Brown's "broken promise" not to raise the income tax, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.
The respected economic think tank said that the increase in national insurance looks like "a breaking of a manifesto commitment not to raise NI".
It described the pledge not to raise national insurance as "silly" and said it had tied the hands of the Government "to an absurd extent".
In the 2005 election Labour promised not to raise income tax but subsequently announced a new 45p top rate of income tax.
Paul Johnson, the head of the IFS, said: "Part of the problem of course is that the increase in class 4 Nics does look like a breaking of the the manifesto commitment not to raise NI.
"Just as the last labour Government broke its manifesto pledge not to raise the basic or top rates of income tax when it increased the top rate to 50%. To commit yourself to not raising the three main taxes - income tax, NI and VAT - ties your hand to an absurd extend. No party should repeat these sorts of promises."
Report from Steven Swinford
Tory MPs join rebellion
Dominic Raab, a Conservative MP, is speaking now on the BBC's Daily Politics.
He says the Government should stick to their manifesto and asks ministers "look at this in the round to make sure we are not hurting entrepreneurial classes"
Stephen McPartland, another Tory MP on the show, adds:
I was very surprised. I think the whole party was very surprise, the parliamentary party.
We sat there in complete and utter silence listening to that part of the announcement.
I personally think Philip [Hammond] is a very good chancellor, he’s a very grown-up chancellor, but I think on this issue we need to get a U-turn and we need one quickly.
Is this the worst reaction to a Budget ever?
Chancellor Philip Hammond's breezy joke-filled performance at the despatch box yesterday could not stop his Budget becoming unstuck as the full scale of his tax raid on Britain's self-employed became clear, writes Asa Bennett.
He has looked at how previous Chancellors fared:
Brown's pensions clanger
Gordon Brown enraged pensioners after announcing in his March 2000 Budget that they would see a rise in their basic pension of just 75p-a-week, as he had based it on that year's low inflation rate.
The resulting backlash saw pensioners take to the streets in protest, forcing the Government into a U-turn.
Brown leaves Darling a Budget bombshell
Few people complained in 2007 when Gordon Brown decided to scrap the 10p rate of income tax, but the tax changes became a political bombshell when they came into effect the following year, blowing up in the face of his successor Alistair Darling.
After criticism from both the Left and the Right, Mr Darling was forced to make a concession to help those affected by the scrapping of the 10p rate of tax by raising the personal allowance.
The Omnishambles Budget
George Osborne would have expected some controversy after unveiling cuts to corporation tax and the top rate of income tax. But his Budget was quickly overshadowed by a series of hikes that the Government struggled to defend.
The number of tax bombshells that emerged over the coming days included the granny tax, the caravan tax, the churches tax, the charity tax and - most famously - the pasty tax. Mr Osborne later had to climbdown on them all, and it allowed Ed Miliband to mock the Government weeks later over the "omnishambles Budget".
Osborne's big Brexit backlash
Four years on from his "omnishambles", Mr Osborne might have thought he knew how to avoid having a Budget blow up in his face. But he couldn't resist using it to strike a blow for the Remain side ahead of the EU referendum.
He used his moment at the despatch box to shoehorn in a message on why Britain was better off in the European Union.
That may well have been the last straw for his fellow cabinet members, who had been constrained from putting their thoughts out ahead of the referendum, as Iain Duncan Smith resigned two days later in a blaze of fury.
'Budget a dog's dinner'
Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative chairman, has hit out at the Government's proposed changes.
He told the Evening Standard:
It’s a bit of a dog’s dinner. I think we need to encourage people to be self-employed rather than discourage them.
I don’t mind dealing with rich lawyers or wealthy people who take their pay through fake companies to avoid tax.
But the local plumber is not in either category.
No 10 refuses to rule out NI review
Downing Street confirmed that the NICs change will require separate legislation, but a spokesman declined repeated requests to make clear whether the Government was willing to review its decision.
"The Prime Minister and Chancellor have agreed on this Budget," said the spokesman. "The point of this Budget, apart from addressing the issue of fairness, is to build for a brighter future for Britain."
Theresa May's official spokesman repeatedly refuses to rule out review of national insurance rise but says it is about fairness #Budget2017— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) March 9, 2017
McDonnell: I felt anger over self-employed and social care
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell attacks Philip Hammond's Budget for favouring the wealthiest and hitting the self-employed.
Lords Minister hits out at Treasury
DWP Minister Lord Henley: "We've all had moments when we've had doubts about what goes on in the Treasury"I— Esther Webber (@estwebber) March 9, 2017
IDS joins Tory revolt
Iain Duncan Smith added his voice to calls for a rethink of proposed changes to National Insurance contributions.
Mr Duncan Smith told Sky News he hoped the Chancellor would "reflect" on the decision in the period before the autumn Budget.
I would like to see this kept under review... I would like to see the ball kept in play.
This doesn't land until next year, so there is plenty of scope to look at how this actually affects them and to listen to business representatives.
I think there is always a problem if you make an absolute pledge at the time of an election and then you subsequently you don’t [keep it].
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.
On Philip Hammond's Brexit warnings, he says:
My sense of the problem here is that the Treasury is still way too pessimistic about the future and isn’t looking at the opportunities.
'We haven't broken our promise'
BBC broadcaster Nick Robinson turned the airwaves blue when he called the Chancellor "spreads**t Phil" during a live feature on the Budget.
The Today presenter accidentally mangled Philip Hammond's commonly used nickname "spreadsheet" as he discussed the fallout from the financial statement with journalists.
Mr Robinson quickly corrected himself but within minutes social media users suggested it had been a "Freudian slip".
Robinson asked one of the guests: "Do you agree that this is basically Spreadshit Phil, Spreadsheet Phil, I should say, as he is known in the Treasury, basically holding his nose and saying there will be a row but it will pass?"
One Twitter user said the gaffe had "brightened my morning considerably" while another described it as "glorious".
I'm very very worried about your hearing. I clearly said SpreadSHEET Phil ...didn't I? https://t.co/vOk0JkuLw6— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) March 9, 2017
Report from PA
Will Government be able to force through changes?
Commons Library confirm for me: "Government will have to introduce separate primary legislation" (to introduce any National Insurance rise)— Chris Leslie (@ChrisLeslieMP) March 9, 2017
'The decision to leave the European Union has changed the game'
Phillip Hammond has insisted that the changes to National Insurance were needed to pay for extra funding for social care.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:
We've introduced this measure because we need to raise revenue in this Budget in order to fund social care.
We have to pay for these things somehow. This is the difficult challenge.
No Conservative likes to raise taxes and, of course, I'm always prepared to listen to backbenchers, to talk to our backbenchers, but we have made a decision to make the national insurance system a little bit fairer.
Ministers made it clear in Parliament after the election how the manifesto commitment would be applied and MPs could have challenged it at the time, he said.
We said something during the course of the election.
When we legislated for those measures we explained very clearly in Parliament what we were doing.
There was a broad commitment to lock taxes so there would be no tax increases and that is what we have done.
As the Chancellor now, I am working within an extremely constrained environment where we face some new challenges in this country.
Philip Hammond wriggling as he tries to claim NI hike on self-employed doesn't break manifesto pledge to freeze rates. #today— Jason Groves (@JasonGroves1) March 9, 2017
Asked about breaking the manifesto commitment to remain in the single market, Mr Hammond said the Government had responded to changes in the "real world".
The decision to leave the European Union has changed the game.
It's clear that we can't stay in the customs union and wasting a lot of political capital arguing about that will not be fruitful.
Hammond's argument seems to be weird blend of "when the facts change" and "we haven't broken any vow"— Isabel Hardman (@IsabelHardman) March 9, 2017
Mr Hammond said he was constrained because most taxes cannot be increased and lots of government spending is ring-fenced but Britain needs to be ready for Brexit.
But he denied that self-employed workers were paying the price for Brexit.
Not at all.
The key circumstance that has changed in respect of the self-employed is that they now have access to the full state pension on the same basis as employees.
Theresa May on National Insurance raise in 2010
'It is a modest measure'
Philip Hammond has insisted the NIC announcement was not a repeat of the VAT hike on hot snacks in George Osborne's 2012 "omnishambles budget", which had to be hastily withdrawn amid a furious backlash.
Asked on LBC Radio if he was confident he had not created Pasty Tax Two, the Chancellor said:
Yes. This is a fair measure, it is a modest measure.
Half of the money raised will come from people in the top 20% of income earners.
Nobody earning less than £16,250 will pay any more National Insurance contributions.
Sixty per cent of self-employed people will see a reduction in their National Insurance contributions.
This is a fair and appropriate measure.
'Budget was a shocker'
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Budget had been a "shocker".
He told ITV's Good Morning Britain:
There's got to be an element of fairness about our taxation system.
He cannot cut the taxes to the rich and the corporations and increase the taxes on the lower paid. This came out of the blue and was a shocker.
Mr McDonnell said money announced for social care was not enough to deal with the problems in the service.
He trailed £2 billion and then when he announced it's over three years, well it isn't a sticking plaster even.
It means we are still in crisis.
Hammond denies Tories have turned their backs on self employed
Philip Hammond denied that the Conservatives had turned their backs on the self-employed through the NICs hike and a separate Budget decision to cut the tax-free dividend allowance from £5,000 to £2,000.
He also said there would be more winners than losers among the self-employed as a result of the overall impact of NIC changes, saying that 60 per cent will end up paying lower contributions.
The Chancellor told BBC1's Breakfast:
We strongly support small businesses, growing businesses.
They are the bedrock of Britain's economy and we will continue to encourage new ventures, innovation, growing businesses in this economy.
What we are dealing with here is a perverse incentive in our tax and National Insurance system which is driving people who are essentially employees to turn themselves into self-employed workers instead.
That's not good for them and it's not a healthy thing for the structure of the economy to be driven by tax advantages and tax differences.
People should have choices about the way they work and the form they use to set up a business, but those choices should be driven by the needs of their business and the needs of the economy, not by artificial tax incentives.
Philip Hammond does not rule out rethinking the NIC hike when asked directly on @BBCBreakfast. Start of a climb down?— Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) March 9, 2017
'We need to put this on hold'
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, a Tory MP, has told the BBC that she believes yesterday's announcement brakes the manifesto commitment and was "going in the wrong direction".
So it begins. Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Tory MP: We have broken our manifesto promise over national insurance.— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) March 9, 2017
"We need to halt this particular decision now," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"I think we need to put this on hold so we can have a proper review and think in a holistic way."
Philip Hammond refuses to back down
Philip Hammond has defended his 2 per cent hike on National Insurance, insisting it will result in the self-employed making a "fair contribution" to public services.
Speaking on ITV1's Good Morning Britain, the Chancellor said:
Britain's circumstances have moved on.
We are now facing the challenge of leaving the European Union, of building a global Britain to exploit the opportunities in the future that this country can enjoy, and we need to invest to do that.
I've had to ask the self-employed to pay a little bit more National Insurance in order to make a fair contribution for the services that they receive from Government.