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Chancellor's 'boring' Budget breaks key Tory manifesto tax pledge

Home Secretary Amber Rudd stifled a yawn as the chancellor presented his first Budget. Credit: PA

This was supposed to be a safe, boring Budget.

But the 'safe' chancellor appears to have broken a key Conservative manifesto promise.

The 2015 manifesto on which he was elected says the Conservatives will "commit to no increases in VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax".

But today the chancellor put up National Insurance for 1.6 million people by an average of £240 a year each.

Oops.

The National Insurance pledge was listed on page 7 of the Conservative Party's 2015 manifesto. Credit: Conservatives.com

In explanation a Treasury spokeswoman pointed to the Bill that followed the 2015 election to bring into force the tax ceiling.

That says one type of National Insurance Contribution, Class 1, will not rise.

It makes no mention at all of Class 4 NI, which is what the chancellor put up today.

"The legislation is the place for this kind of detail," she said, "not the manifesto."

But the legislation brought in after the election is not what voters were making their choice on.

All they had to go on was the manifesto. And that was very clear; "No increases in VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax."

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