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Class 4 National Insurance Contributions - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:08 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of Lord Cunningham of Felling Lord Cunningham of Felling Labour 4:08 pm, 15th March 2017

My Lords, a very famous operator in the field of social security and taxation once said, “When the evidence and the facts change, I change my mind”. That is very wise advice for the Government. What concerns me in all this is that the Government have locked themselves for the whole of the Parliament into what I would regard as a rash, ill-judged manifesto commitment. A black hole—not the first one—now appears in our public finances and will have to be remedied over time, as the Minister has already acknowledged. The question for us now is: as people on benefits, housing benefit and low incomes have been hurt, who will be hurt by whatever measures emerge to fill this black hole?