This afternoon Philip Hammond has found himself the subject of much bad press over his decision to break a 2015 Tory manifesto pledge and raise national insurance for the self-employed. But is Hammond the person to blame?
Mr S only asks as it turns out that those involved with the 2015 Conservative manifesto might not have put that much thought into the original pledge. Speaking to the Sun‘s Tom Newton Dunn last year, Ameet Gill — David Cameron’s former Head of Strategy — revealed that the promise to not raise National Insurance for five years was only implemented because they had a ‘hole in the grid’:
‘Towards the end of the general election campaign in 2015, we did the five year Tax Lock.
It was probably the dumbest economic policy that anyone could make, but we kind of cooked it up on the hoof a couple of days before, because we had a hole in the grid and we needed to fill it.’
While Gill describes it as an example of a government doing a ‘stupid thing’, unfortunately for Hammond, Cameron is no longer around to take his share of the blame.