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Tax 1) Tories “at war” over threatened rise in National Insurance

“Senior Conservatives were threatening open warfare over Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak’s planned tax increase on Saturday night, as the Prime Minister prepared to insist it was vital to save the NHS. Ministers, government aides and backbenchers lined up to denounce a planned National Insurance rise which was privately described by senior figures as “idiotic”, with one Cabinet member declaring the proposal “morally, economically and politically wrong”. MPs warned that the hike would break a personal guarantee issued by the Prime Minister at the 2019 election, and result in younger workers subsidising care for older people.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • Johnson the juggler will struggle to pull off this trick – Sunday Times
  • PM can’t duck vow on tax and pensions – Leader, The Sun on Sunday
  • Plans to announce £34 billion NHS boost before cabinet reshuffle – Sunday Times
  • Raising NI to fund social care overhaul will hurt growth, economists warn – Sunday Telegraph
  • This could be the biggest political miscalculation since Margaret Thatcher brought in the poll tax – Marc Sidwell, Sunday Telegraph
  • Ministers are desperate for a way out of the NHS cost trap … but they’ve hit a roadblock – Robert Colvile, Sunday Times

Tax 2) TUC calls for higher Capital Gains Tax instead

“The row over how to fund social care threatens to engulf Labour this weekend as Keir Starmer faces pressure from across the party to commit to taxing the wealthy as a way to provide a system fit for the 21st century. Before the conference season, and as the government prepares to announce within days a hugely controversial increase in national insurance (NI) to fund better care, the TUC leads the charge, calling instead for an increase in capital gains tax (CGT) to meet the costs of reform, and higher wages for care workers.” – The Observer

  • Don’t raid ordinary workers’ pockets – Frances O’Grady, The Observer

Tax 3) Remember what happened to George Bush Snr, warns Rees-Mogg

“The concerns are also coming from Mr Johnson’s cabinet with Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg using his “words of wisdom” column in the Sunday Express today to remind readers of the fate of George Bush sr after he infamously broke his “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge in the 1988 US Presidential election. Bush senior subsequently lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton. Mr Rees-Mogg noted: “Voters remembered these words after President Bush had forgotten them.” – Sunday Express

  • Liz Truss, the International Trade Secretary, “among those angered” by the plan – The Sun on Sunday

Tax 4) Sunak “playing hardball” in the negotiations

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak was last night ‘playing hardball’ over Boris Johnson’s proposed care tax as tense negotiations over new money for the NHS went down to the wire. Downing Street had been hoping to secure agreement with the Treasury over the new NHS and Social Care Levy by early yesterday and to announce the details on Tuesday. But amid mounting tensions between No 10 and No 11, by early evening Mr Sunak was still demanding assurances from the Prime Minister that, once introduced, the £10 billion-a-year levy would cover the cost of dealing with the NHS’s Covid backlog – and that he would not be forced to keep finding top-up funds from depleted Treasury coffers.” – Mail on Sunday

  • Meetings have been going on throughout the weekend – BBC

Tax 5) Fysh: Our PM is losing sight of what it means to be Conservative

“I am a Conservative because I want to stand up for everyone in this country trying to make their way in the world…It is for these reasons that I am alarmed at the apparent direction of travel of the Government. I do not believe it is Conservative to penalise individuals of working age and their employers with higher taxes on their employment when our manifesto promised not to. I do not believe it is Conservative to take a socialist approach to social care and its funding when insurance-based and fairly contributive alternatives exist and operational reform has not been set out.” – Marcus Fysh, Sunday Telegraph

Frost does not want to “sweep away” Northern Ireland Protocol – but big changes needed

“The UK does not want to “sweep away” the Northern Ireland Protocol but the deal risks creating “cold mistrust” with the European Union, the UK’s Brexit minister has said. Lord Frost repeated calls for Brussels to accept a “substantial and significant change” to the deal. The protocol keeps Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods…The Conservative peer reiterated the UK’s position that the “threshold” for triggering Article 16 to effectively tear up parts of protocol has been met.” – BBC

Grenfell Tower “to be demolished”

“Ministers are set to announce the demolition of Grenfell Tower, more than four years after a fire ripped through the block of flats in west London, killing 72 people. Senior Whitehall sources say the decision to pull down the charred remains of the building is a “fait accompli” amid fears its continued presence poses a safety risk to the local community. A range of structural engineering experts hired by the government have “unambiguously and unanimously” advised that the tower should be “carefully taken down”.Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, has also been warned that the building poses a particular risk to the Kensington Aldridge Academy, a secondary school for 1,200 children which is located in the shadow of the burnt-out tower.” – Sunday Times

NHS gender identity clinic whistleblower wins damages

“A child safeguarding expert who faced vilification after raising concerns about the safety of children undergoing treatment at a London NHS gender identity clinic has won an employment tribunal case against the hospital trust. Sonia Appleby, 62, was awarded £20,000 after an employment tribunal ruled the NHS’s Tavistock and Portman trust’s treatment of her damaged her professional reputation and “prevented her from proper work on safeguarding”. Appleby, an experienced psychoanalytical psychotherapist, was responsible for protecting children at risk from maltreatment.” – The Observer

Coronavirus 1) Growing immunity “will allow us to ride out” spike in case numbers

“Research published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last week found the average person still has “direct contact” with four others a day, down from about 11 before the first lockdown. A mass return to the office with increased social mixing could give the virus more opportunities to spread. The biggest change since last year — and the reason officials have not balked at the high numbers of cases — is Britain’s vaccine programme. About 71 per cent of the UK population has received a first Covid jab, which translates into a considerable wall of immunity. Of the remaining 29 per cent, most are children. Older teenagers, who are most likely to spread the virus, are now being vaccinated. The latest figures from NHS England show that more than 620,000 of those aged 16 and 17, almost half of the age group, have been jabbed.” – Sunday Times

Coronavirus 2) Labour calls for clarity on vaccines for children

“Labour has called for clarity on Covid vaccines for children to prevent further disruption to their education. However, shadow education secretary Kate Green said other measures including mask-wearing, ventilation systems and testing were also needed. On Friday, vaccine experts did not recommend the jab for healthy 12 to 15-year-olds on health grounds alone. But the UK’s chief medical officers have been asked to consider any wider implications of extending the rollout.” – BBC

Coronavirus 3) Britain will ‘go down the plughole’ without major push to get staff back in offices, says Duncan Smith

“Britain will “go down the plughole” without a major push to get staff back in offices, business leaders have been warned. Employees must return to pre-Covid working patterns to save struggling retail and hospitality, ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith says. He claims the young and low-paid are hardest hit and points out office working is good for productivity, the creation of ideas and employees’ mental health.” – Iain Duncan Smith, The Sun on Sunday

  • To revive city centres we need less talk, more action – Leader, Sunday Times

Coronavirus 4) Hannan: We’re all likely to catch it  – and that makes continuing restrictions obsolete

“Pretty much the entire population may end up catching the coronavirus, possibly several times. The good news is that most of us will get it either when we’re young and our natural defences are strong, or when our immune system has been primed by the vaccine. But, one way or another, we’ll all end up being exposed. That fact renders all our continuing restrictions obsolete. And I mean all of them: the masks on public transport, the checks after arrival from overseas, the tests in schools, the lot….Rules designed to slow the spread of a one-off epidemic make no sense when dealing with an endemic virus. The coronavirus is on its way to becoming like the other rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and, indeed, coronaviruses that cause winter respiratory diseases. Most people will catch it in childhood and, as they become elderly, will be offered annual jabs that anticipate the latest strains – just as with flu. It is time to move on.” – Daniel Hannan, Sunday Telegraph

  • Tory MPs urge BBC to stop ‘scaring viewers from living their normal lives’ with daily Covid figures – Mail on Sunday

Lawson: Our arrogant military leaders have meddled in politics and given flawed advice

“Now, no one who gets to the top of the modern army can be anything other than intensely political, but Carter is an extreme case. In a way this was at the heart of what went wrong in both Iraq and Afghanistan: the top brass never confronted Blair over the vast gulf between his aims and the military means we actually had at our disposal….This is no criticism of our soldiers on the ground. I have two nephews who served in the Afghan campaign and recall they both had to leave sealed final letters to their mothers, to be opened in the event of the worst happening. I wrote then that the cliché of “lions led by donkeys” applied to them. The latest lectures from Lord Dannatt and Sir Nick Carter suggest I was being too generous to the top brass. They are arrogant jackasses.” – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

  •  Raab must be booted out of office over handling of Afghanistan crisis, poll finds – Sun on Sunday
  • Foreign Secretary is “the victim of a bitter war between feuding former Michael Gove aides” – Mail on Sunday

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News in brief

  • How will Boris Johnson sell his social care tax rise? – Francis Elliott, The Spectator
  • Whatever our faith, we all need rituals – Peter Mullen, Conservative Woman
  • We need to tackle the shortages – John Redwood
  • Modernist architecture melts our brains – Nikos A. Salingaros, The Critic
  • Downing Street “plotting” to stop Sturgeon using Cop26 to promote Scottish independence – Independent