25 November 2019 14:33
A glaring omission is an increase in the higher-rate income tax threshold, which could anger Tory voters. The prime minister appears to have concluded that this tax cut for the rich would prove an electoral mistake. The triple tax lock is similar to Labour's promise not to raise income taxes, VAT and national insurance, although Jeremy Corbyn's party will target the top 5% of earners. Such constraints could be unwise if the government finds it needs to raise more money to fund public services. Any chancellor could also be hamstrung in an economic downturn.
The big promise to cut national insurance comes with a £2.5bn price tag, according to the manifesto costing document. However, Johnson has been warned that an ambition to take the threshold all the way up to £12,500 would come with an even heftier price tag of around £6bn more - a figure missing from the five-year plan at present. Plans to raise the minimum wage are nothing new, nor is a promise to end the benefits freeze. It was always set to lift in 2020 after four years, though has caused significant damage, costing seven million families an average of £560 each per year.