Tax & end
HE may have plenty on his mind this week with Partygate, but Boris Johnson would be wise to heed the growing backlash against his planned National Insurance rise.
Ex-ministers are queuing up to attack the un-Tory raid on workers, enquanto Chancellor Rishi Sunak reportedly refers to it as “the PM’s tax”.
Even Gordon Brown, who as Labour Chancellor in 2002 also raised National Insurance to fund NHS spending, called the latest plans “simply not acceptable”.
Single mums, OAPs and the disabled are set to be hardest hit by soaring energy bills, so rumours that the PM is warming to a VAT cut are heartening.
Yet with pressures on ALL households now so relentless, scrapping the National Insurance rise needs to be on the table too.
MINISTERS will need steel, ingenuity and luck if their latest push for civil servants to flock back to the office is to succeed.
Whenever the issue has come to the boil before, another Covid threat has emerged to give mandarins the excuse they needed to keep working from home.
That’s obviously bad for productivity, not to mention damaging to businesses that rely on commuter custom.
But with WFH jobs still being advertised, and unions digging their heels in, we doubt that appealing to civil servants’ consciences will be enough.
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Chicken on Kiev
WILL the threat of Nato economic sanctions be enough to deter Vladimir Putin from trying to seize Ukraine?
We have to hope so, as no one but the Ukrainians themselves seem to have the stomach to take on Vlad the Invader.
Just when Kiev — and the world — needs a strong, united Nato deterrent, they get a US President who barely seems to know what year it is, and a Germany compromised by the economic expediency of Russian gas.
Sanctions may yet tame the Russian bear — but it would surely help if they were backed up by a credible military deterrent.
Rust in peace
WHEN we heard a British metal icon of the 70s and 80s with a couple of screws loose needed rehoming, at first we feared Ozzy Osbourne had fallen out with Sharon again.
But when it turned out it was actually Metal Mickey in peril, after his owner’s death, we stepped in to save the kids’ TV fave from the scrapheap.
We still need to find the lovable robot a permanent new home, Apesar, so if any of our clever clogs readers know of a suitable “boogie boogie” wonderland, let us know.