BORIS Johnson has broken his pledge not to raise taxes by putting up national insurance today.

The Prime Minister announced a rise of 1.25 per cent in national insurance contributions (NICs) to fund social care reforms and help the NHS in England.

Mr Johnson announced the widely trailed plans in the Commons this afternoon, despite criticism from opposition politicians and members of his own party.

However the Prime Minister has insisted the move is essential to help social care and the NHS get back on its feet following the pandemic, while also boasting there was a “union dividend” for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Mr Johnson said the policy would generate around £36bn, with employers and employees expected to both pay a 1.25% rise. He explained that around 40% of firms would not be expected to pay extra, and anyone earning below £9,000per year would also not be subject to the rise. 

Devolved governments will receive a share of around £2.2bn, with Downing Street officials claiming they will receive around 15% more back than their citizens will pay in.

As reported by this newspaper, the IFS and Fraser of Allander institute already suggested Holyrood ministers would be set to earn back more than Scots would be paying in under the plans.

READ MORE: Scottish Government would earn £50m from Boris Johnson's national insurance rise

A Downing Street spokesman said: "Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from £2.2 billion additional government social spending as a result of this..

“In total they receive more funding that will be collected on a net basis from their citizens. There is a clear union dividend - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland taken together will benefit from around 15% more than is generated from their citizens, equivalent to about £300m pounds every year.”

However economists previously recommended that a rise in income tax would have been a better way to raise the cash, as national insurance rises affect working families while pensioners who are set to benefit from the extra funding will not have to contribute.

The UK government has argued that people paying in now will still benefit from the planned social care reforms when they are older.

The SNP said the plans “shaft Scotland” and force Scots to pay more to fix England’s problems, while Labour have described the rise as a “tax on jobs”.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s Westminster leader, and his colleagues Alison Thewliss and David Linden, wrote to the Prime Minister today urging him to rethink the measures.

Following the announcement today, Mr Blackford said: "Boris Johnson's Tory tax hike is a deeply regressive move that will unfairly penalise Scottish families - and leave the poorest in society subsidising the wealthy.

"Not only does it break yet another Tory manifesto pledge but it will leave Scottish families, low paid workers, and young people hundreds of pounds worse off and forced to foot the bill for Westminster failure. Worse still, it comes at the same time the Tories are slashing people's incomes by £1040 in cuts to Universal Credit.

"No one doubts the need for Westminster to fix the crisis it has created in England but it must be done in a fair way not through a regressive tax that will unfairly place the burden on Scottish families, young people and the least well off."

Andrew Bowie, Conservative MP, claimed Scotland's NHS would receive "billions" in extra funding, and accused the SNP of criticising the plans because "they didn't ask for it".

The Prime Minister suggested the UK Government would "direct money" raised through the tax hike to health andsocialcare servicesin Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, sparking concern from those MPs about Westminster interfering in devolved areeas.

In Scotland health is devolved to Holyrood, with Ian Blackford telling the Prime Minister to get his "mitts off" NHS Scotland in his statement this afternoon.