Former housing secretary Robert Jenrick has said the Government should postpone a national insurance hike that he approved last year.
Mr Jenrick, who was in the position until September 2021, said the hike should be delayed and the Government should “exploit Britain’s gas reserves”.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Jenrick said the Government was “turning its mind” to a cost of living crisis “lamentably slowly”.
“Alleviating the cost-of-living challenge requires us to confront hard realities,” he said.
“First, it means recognising the need for the Government to intervene to help those facing brutal decisions as to what they must do without. But these should be targeted measures that are focused on low- and middle-income families. The size of the state is already the largest in my lifetime, and growing.”
“In the medium term we need to address our exposure to volatile energy markets by increasing domestic output, and this involves utilising the oil and gas that our islands have been blessed with. It is absurd that we have foregone cheap, reliable energy in the name of saving the planet, only to import it at higher prices from abroad – in the process, ceding jobs and creating vulnerabilities to unsavoury actors.”
He said the quickest way to “alleviate pressures on household budgets would be to postpone the hike” which would “also show the Government’s Conservative instincts remain”.