A Treasury minister today admitted it could take 15 years for the Tories to fulfil Rishi Sunak‘s ambition of getting rid of national insurance.

Gareth Davies suggested the goal floated by the PM and Jeremy Hunt at the Budget would take ‘several Parliaments’.

The Chancellor raised eyebrows by spelling out his hopes as he knocked another 2p off the rate for employees – hailing the move as a tax break worth an average of £450 for 27million workers.

He told the Commons on Wednesday that NICs amounted to ‘double taxation’ and he wanted to scrap the ‘complex’ arrangements – introduced in 1911 to fund welfare benefits, but now a general tax levy.

The commitment went some way to appease restive Tories, who had been hoping Mr Hunt would go further to ease the tax burden in his package. The tight public finances limited the government’s room for manoeuvre, although Mr Hunt could yet come back for another fiscal statement before an election.

Gareth Davies suggested the goal floated by the PM and Jeremy Hunt at the Budget would take 'several Parliaments'

Gareth Davies suggested the goal floated by the PM and Jeremy Hunt at the Budget would take ‘several Parliaments’

The Chancellor raised eyebrows by spelling out his hopes on national insurance as he knocked another 2p off the rate for employees - but left the tax burden rising overall

The Chancellor raised eyebrows by spelling out his hopes on national insurance as he knocked another 2p off the rate for employees – but left the tax burden rising overall

During a round of interviews this morning, Mr Davies told Sky News: ‘The starting point is that we think there’s a fundamental unfairness that if you work in a job you pay two types of tax, you pay income tax and you pay national insurance contributions.

‘So what we want to do, what we’ve demonstrated at the last two fiscal events, is that we want to get national insurance contributions down to the extent that we remove the unfairness over time.

‘The long-term ambition, it may take several parliaments, but the long-term ambition is to remove that unfairness.’

Pressed on whether the Government wanted to merge income tax and national insurance, he said: ‘We keep all these things under review, but we want to remove the unfairness of having two taxes for those in work.’

Yesterday Mr Hunt stood by his suggestion acknowledged that removing national insurance altogether would be a ‘huge job’ and suggested it would not happen ‘any time soon’.

Speaking at an event at a pub in South Yorkshire yesterday, Mr Sunak said: ‘The reason we have chosen to cut national insurance in particular is because it’s a tax on work.

Mr Hunt told the Commons on Wednesday that NICs amounted to 'double taxation' and he wanted to scrap the 'complex' arrangements

Mr Hunt told the Commons on Wednesday that NICs amounted to ‘double taxation’ and he wanted to scrap the ‘complex’ arrangements

Speaking at an event at a pub in South Yorkshire yesterday, Mr Sunak branded national insurance a 'tax on work'

Speaking at an event at a pub in South Yorkshire yesterday, Mr Sunak branded national insurance a ‘tax on work’ 

‘We have this unfairness at the moment where if you’re working, you pay tax twice, once in income tax and then again in national insurance.

‘That’s unnecessarily complicated because all of that money ultimately goes into the same pot, funds the same public services. But ultimately, as I said, it’s unfair because you are paying tax not once but twice.

‘But my ultimate ambition is to remove that unfairness entirely, and if we stick to our plan, not just will we deliver the £900 of tax cuts this year, we can really make progress towards that long-term ambition over time in the next Parliament.’

Post source: Daily mail

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