THE SNP have said “Scotland is being shafted” by Tory plans to impose a National Insurance hike that they say will penalise millions of families in the country.

In a letter to Boris Johnson ahead of his parliamentary statement tomorrow, SNP MPs Ian Blackford, Alison Thewliss and David Linden warned against breaking the Tory manifesto pledge to keep National Insurance at current levels.

The SNP Westminster leader, SNP shadow chancellor and SNP shadow work and pensions secretary said an increase would be the equivalent of imposing a new Tory poll tax on Scotland that would penalise Scottish families by landing them with the bill to fix a social care crisis in England.

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They also said the rise in National Insurance would have a negative impact on young people and low-income families at the same time as Universal credit and the premature termination of the furlough scheme.

Blackford said: “Boris Johnson must ditch his damaging Tory tax hike, which would unfairly penalise Scottish families by forcing them to pay the bill for the Westminster social care crisis in England.

“Yet again, Scotland is being shafted with a new Tory poll tax being imposed against our will.

He went on: “Scottish families are already being hit hard by the £1040 Tory cuts to Universal Credit and the long-term economic damage of Brexit – they must not be forced to pay hundreds of pounds more each year for Tory failure.

“The Tories came to regret imposing the poll tax.

“If Boris Johnson breaks yet another manifesto pledge, the Tories will descend even further into irrelevance in Scotland.”

Thewliss said the National Insurance increase will lead to more inequality. She added: “Scottish families have already been hammered by a decade of Tory austerity cuts, and the UK now has the worst levels of poverty in north-west Europe.

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“If Boris Johnson goes ahead with this Tory tax hike, it will cement inequality and push families even further into hardship and crisis.

“It’s increasingly clear there is no chance of a fair Covid recovery at Westminster.

“The only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and tax hikes is to become an independent country, with the full powers needed to build a strong, fair and equal recovery.”