Jeremy Hunt’s 2p National Insurance cut has been labeled “cynical” by his Godalming and Ash Lib Dem election rival Paul Follows.

The chancellor announced a second cut to National Insurance (NI) this year in last week’s Spring Budget, representing a £450-a-year saving for an employee on an average salary of £35,000.

But Paul Follows, who will run against Mr Hunt in the new Godalming and Ash constituency, blasted Mr Hunt’s plans for the economy saying an extra £450 a year would barely scratch the surface for many following cost-of-living rises.

The Lib Dem Waverley Borough Council leader said: “I know people here in Godalming, and certainly other places within this borough and this constituency, who have had their energy bills, food bills, their mortgage, their rent, everything rise by so much that in some cases, that’s more than £450 rise a month, let alone yearly. These tax cuts are cynical.”

Cllr Follows also emphasised the need for tax reform and more investment in public services such as roads, the NHS and education – not tax cuts.

He continued: “He (Hunt) attacks those incredibly hard-working people in those public services by telling them they need to be more efficient. And that, realistically is his only plan.”

Concluding, Cllr Follows said: “I don’t know about you but I can’t name a single service that is better since 2015. Can you? It is absolutely now time for change and time for a general election.”

Mr Hunt later explained his NI cut to constituents, saying the fact that working people pay more tax than those earning money from other sources “is neither morally or economically right”.

Cllr Follows is hotly tipped to challenge Mr Hunt’s seat in parliament as the country goes to the polls later this year, having fallen short in 2019.