Did Philip Hammond really break an election pledge with NI hike?

David Cameron also said in speech in December 2015: "We said in our manifesto we would not raise VAT, National Insurance or income tax for the next five years".

"People will be able to look at the government paper when we produce it, showing all our changes and take a judgment in the round", May told journalists in Brussels on Thursday.

The legislation will also follow former Labour adviser Matthew Taylor's review of self-employment practices, which is expected to recommend enhancing some social benefits for the self-employed.

The change, announced on Wednesday, will see millions of self-employed workers pay an average of £240 a year more but ministers say those earning £16,250 or less will see their NI contributions fall.

Asked whether Mrs May would use the summer to listen to MPs' concerns, her official spokesman said:"The Prime Minister has said that the Chancellor and his ministers will be talking to MPs and businesses over the summer.

This announcement was somewhat expected given how rushed Making Tax Digital has been, and as businesses which are VAT registered now report quarterly anyway, this delay will be a great way to test out the new system before smaller businesses are tasked with the challenge of implementing it into their operations".

Hammond's bogus comparison and the loophole he has left behind are the sort of errors in a Chancellor's budget that the once-neutral Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) used to point out.

Reality Check: Do National Insurance changes break pledge?

"It's making it harder to afford the public services on which ordinary working families depend and this goes some way towards fixing that". I don't think he should have extra for the self-employed.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday morning, Lamont said the real concern was that Hammond could keep appearing to punish the self-employed in future budgets.

May was dismissive of the idea that the changes had broken the Tories' 2015 manifesto commitment.

Government whip and minister in the Wales Office Guto Bebb was among the most outspoken critics.

She acknowledged that the Budget had meant "difficult decisions" but insisted it was vital to close the gap between the amount of tax paid by the self-employed and those in "traditional" employment.

John McDonnell, Labour's shadow chancellor, urged Tory MPs to join Labour in opposing the NIC increases.

"Instead, it is a case of much more give than take for local business owners this year as they tackle a multitude of challenges including digital tax reporting, compulsory contributions to staff pension pots and the National Living Wage".

He added that May should "show some leadership, rather than this partial U-turn, and just scrap these tax rises for low and middle earners altogether".

  • Leroy Wright