Seems to me Johnson is in a pickle if he insists on raising funds through an increase in NIC. All but his most extreme right supporters are beginning to question the idea of getting the least well-off to pay the extra funding required, which would be avoided if he simply and sensibly raised income tax instead. Might this not be the right time to get rid of NIC entirely? The concept of a separate tax to pay for healthcare is a nice one, but as the finances raised have never been hypothecated surely now is the time to merge the two and simplify the taxation system. This would then make the solution to the problem a little easier, although every solution (bar doing nothing) results in the Tories breaking their manifesto tax pledge.