BORIS Johnson has been told to “keep his mitts off” Scotland’s NHS amid a row over the proposed National Insurance tax hike.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford hit out at the plans as an “attack on devolution” in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon.

It came after the Prime Minister announced a 1.25% increase to National Insurance from April 2022 – to address the funding crisis in England’s health and social care service.

Johnson branded the tax rise a “health and social care levy” after he received fierce criticism, some of which came from his own party members.

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Blackford dubbed this “another Tory poll tax” on Scottish workers to “to pay for English social care”.

He hit out at the Tory government for “blantatly breaking” not just manifesto pledges but international law.

Blackford told the chamber: “If I quote, 'and whilst Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own systems we will direct money raised through the levy to their health and social care services'.

“Let me tell you Prime Minister, that health is devolved to the Scottish Government, the Prime Minister can get his mitts off our health system because the people in Scotland trust the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government to run health and we certainly don’t trust the Prime Minister…”

The National:

Ian Blackford called the tax hike plans an 'attack on devolution'

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle was forced to interupt and call for order after Tory MPs began to speak over Blackford.

After the chamber had gone quiet again, Blackford said: “When we have an attack on devolution we have the baying mob of the Tories trying to shout down the voices from Scotland.”

He continued: “It is very telling that as we hopefully emerge from this Covid crisis, the first act of this Prime Minister is to impose this regressive tax because the scandal of the tax hike is it will fall hardest on the young and lowest paid, the two groups who have suffered the worst economic consequences of the pandemic, pre-Covid and post-Covid, the pattern is the same and this government has learnt nothing.”

Blackford then said the UK Government was “adding to the growing burden” faced by young people and “stripping them of the benefits previous generations enjoyed”.

He continued: “The unfairness of this tax hike will be especially felt in Scotland. The Scottish Government is responsible for social care and already funds provisions from existing budgets and tax receipts, including SNP policies such as free personal and nursing care. Mr Speaker we have done it.

"And as the Prime Minister well knows, by raising this levy across the UK – the Tories are taxing Scottish workers twice and forcing them to pay the bill for social care in England as well as at home in Scotland.

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“This is the Prime Minister’s poll tax on Scottish workers to pay for English social care.”

Blackford then asked the Prime Minister to explain to the people of Scotland why they are being hit with “another Tory poll tax”.

Johnson replied: “The NHS is a UK institution and we’re all proud of it and we are proud of what NHS Scotland does as well.

“He is completely wrong Mr Speaker about who pays this tax, the burden falls most heavily on those who have the broadest shoulders as it should and it is the richest 14% who pay at least half the taxation, and as I’ve just explained to the House there is a massive Union dividend of £300m across the whole of the United Kingdom and the whole of the UK will find more money for health and social care, and that I think is what the people of Scotland will understand.”