Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats have slammed local Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox's choice to break his promise to the electorate and vote for a 1.25% rise in National Insurance.
The changes, which go against the Conservatives' manifesto promise not to raise taxes, will mean hard-pressed local families and small businesses will be left paying hundreds of pounds more in tax each year.
Geoffrey Cox was one of the 317 Conservative MPs to support the plans. Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the government plans, arguing that they fail to fix the ongoing social care crisis and will fall disproportionately on the young, the low paid and small businesses.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a cross-party agreement on social care, to find a long-term solution to funding high-quality care for everyone who needs it.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Torridge and West Devon Steve Middleton, said:
"Geoffrey Cox stood on a clear promise at the last election not to raise taxes, including National Insurance. Now they have voted to break that promise by hitting hard-pressed families and small businesses in Torridge and West Devon with a tax hike at a time many are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic.
"The people of Torridge and West Devon deserve better than this. They need an MP who they can trust and who will fight for a fairer deal for our area.
"Unlike Geoffrey Cox, the Liberal Democrats opposed these unjust plans in Parliament. We have been clear about how to fix the social care crisis in a fairer way, instead of hiking taxes on those who can least afford it."
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP added:
"The Tories have gone from being the party of low tax to the party of broken promises.
"Conservative MPs have shown that they can't be trusted and are taking people for granted. It's little wonder that voters around the country and across the Blue Wall are turning to the Liberal Democrats instead.
"We want to see cross-party talks on how to fund social care in a fair and sustainable way, along with urgent action to fix the staffing crisis in care homes and give unpaid carers the recognition they deserve."