Basically… the Tories want to fund care by making every British worker pay an extra £260 tax per year.. so that billionaires and big businesses don't have to.
— Ragged Trousered Philanderer (@RaggedTP) September 7, 2021
Quote of the day from an anonymous Tory MP, speaking to the FT about Boris Johnson’s plan to increase National Insurance: “We are asking people on low incomes to pay more tax so that privileged kids can inherit expensive houses.”
— Chris McCall (@Dennynews) September 7, 2021
Let’s think about what we know:
Firstly, Johnson was lying in 2019 when he said he had a plan to overhaul social care. It is clear now that he didn’t. His current proposals are to fund the existing – predominantly privately-owned and poorly-functioning – system rather than replace it with one that actually works.
In 2019 – pre-pandemic – Boris Johnson said he had a ‘clear plan’ to fix the crisis in social care. We know his ‘plan’ did not involve a massive hike in NI because he pledged not to increase it. So what was the plan? Was he just lying, again? pic.twitter.com/LACJjlHyWi
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) September 7, 2021
….And absolutely no strategy for tackling the crisis itself
— Liam Thorp (@LiamThorpECHO) September 7, 2021
Yes indeed: he is imposing a 10.42 per cent increase on National Insurance contributions that are paid by people earning between £9,500 and £50,000 per year. People earning more will pay nothing extra.
National Insurance drops from 12% to 2% if you earn over £50,268/year. Raising it, while taking up to £1,000 off of those on Universal Credit – 40% of whom are in work – instead of taxing wealth, mansions, or high incomes is a choice to redistribute from the poor to the wealthy.
— Aidan Stitt (@Aidanj1999) September 7, 2021
Do not be confused: this is a 1.25 percentage point increase – NI contributions will rise from 12 per cent of earnings to 13.25 per cent – but this represents a rise of more than 10 per cent in the contributions themselves.
National insurance contributions will go from 12% to 13.5% for those earning between 9.5k – 50k a year, after which it drops to 3.5%.
This is policy written by a government who have a vested interest in protecting the richest in society (in case you had any doubt)
— Jessie Joe Jacobs (@JessieJoeJacobs) September 7, 2021
He is also imposing a 10.42 per cent increase on profits from shares in companies, saying that this means rich people will pay a significant amount towards the cost of social care. This is a lie. Shareholders will merely pass the cost onto employees by denying them wage increases. It means the de facto increase in payments for people earning between £9,000 and £50,000 is 20.83 per cent (the slightly lower-than-double figure is due to roundings-up and -down).
The changes are expected to raise around £12 billion a year – a paltry pittance in comparison to the amount that would have been raised by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had proposed a tax on the UK’s wealthiest people.
Johnson has said that none of the money raised will go towards social care for three years after the NI increase is imposed in April 2022. Instead, it will be used to ease the backlog of NHS treatments that has been caused because Johnson’s Tory government had weakened the health service so badly that it could not cope with Covid-19 and continue to carry out these procedures at the same time.
Johnson has not said how much of the annual £12 billion will eventually be diverted to social care. Nor has his health secretary, Sajid Javid.
It’ll all be given to private companies owned by Tory donors.
— Mel (@melaniekmelvin) September 7, 2021
Crucial response from that press conference for me was Sajid Javid admitting he can't say how much money social care will actually get and when, because it all depends on how NHS gets on with clearing the backlog. NHS bosses say it could take ten years…
— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) September 7, 2021
After April 2023, this extra payment will become a separate tax – called the Health and Social Care Levy – on earned income. It will show up separately on payslips.
Unlike NI, people who work beyond retirement age will also pay this Health and Social Care Levy, meaning Johnson’s already-broken promise to keep the pensions ‘triple lock’ is smashed to smithereens and pensioners will be punished hard.
The government says people earning £20,000 a year will pay £130 to the new levy. Those on £30,000 will pay £255; those on £50,000 – £505. It provides figures for people on £80,000 (£880) and £100,000 (£1,130) but these must be notional amounts as their NI payments will be unchanged. People with shares that provide those amounts in dividends (as already noted) will merely pass the burden onto employees.
Johnson has said the increased payments will fund changes meaning that, from October 2023, nobody will pay more than £86,000 for care costs (excluding accommodation) in their lifetime. Is that a permanent commitment? So even as inflation means £86,000 is worth less and less as years pass, people will still have to pay no more than that amount? This Writer doesn’t think so. I reckon Johnson was lying again.
Once people have paid this amount, their ongoing costs will be paid by local authorities. Those with between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will get means-tested help from their council; those will less than £20,000 won’t have to pay from their assets but might have to contribute from their income – an additional burden for low-earners.
It means people are still likely to have to sell their houses to pay for care – unless they are rich.
As far as I can see, the exception if spouses still live in the family home still applies.
That’s a lot to take in. It is likely that Johnson is hoping ordinary people will not recognise the enormity of the impact his plan will have on poor and working people.
Fortunately, we have clever people available who are able to work out the facts.
Here’s the headline:
You can’t fund social care by making the poor pay for the rich.
It’s time for a wealth tax. pic.twitter.com/NBOyE9taIG
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) September 7, 2021
So, for example, here’s the impact on graduates:
The rise in National Insurance means graduates earning over £27,295 will now pay a marginal tax rate of 42.25% once student loan repayments are included.
— George Eaton (@georgeeaton) September 7, 2021
So such a graduate would take home slightly less than £16,000 a year.
And do you remember that measly three per cent pay rise for NHS workers? It is now, once again, a pay cut:
The so called 3% "pay rise" for NHS staff will be wiped out by the National Insurance rise. Ironically to pay for the underfunded NHS & Social Care. What a disgrace. Pay NHS staff the 15% they deserve. Tax the wealthy NOT the poor. #NHSPay15 #WealthTax
— Bevan Boy #NHSPay15 (@mac123_m) September 7, 2021
And people employed in the social care system – such as it is – will now pay more towards it than their bosses, who profit from it:
How can it be right that a low-paid social care worker pays a bigger proportion of her income to fund social care than the private equity magnate who profits from asset-stripping care homes?
It's time for a tax on wealth to fund social care.
— Trades Union Congress (@The_TUC) September 6, 2021
Average earners lose a lot too…
so confirmed now that national insurance contributions going from 12% to 13.5% for earnings between 9.5k – 50k, after which it drops by 10%. hard to think of a more regressive tax, which is what it is. make that £328.39 worse off annually for the average (median) earner.
— Frank Sobotka (@cymrurouge) September 7, 2021
… and if you earn less than the average, you get hit by the Universal Credit cut as well…
By my calculations, 2.5 million working households will be affected by BOTH the cut to Universal Credit and increase in national insurance. On average, they will lose out by £1290 in 2022/23. 2.5 million working families on low incomes losing £1290 – not a progressive solution.
— Sarah Arnold (@Sarahsarnie) September 7, 2021
… and this means child poverty will increase:
You only have to earn £9,568 a year before you start paying National Insurance.
The flat rise will mean the median earner will be £328.39 worse off annually.
In addition to the cut in Univeral Credit, this regressive tax will drive more children in to poverty.
TAX THE RICH
— Daniel Kebede (@DanielKebedeNEU) September 7, 2021
Johnson has tried to justify this new attack on low earners by claiming that the Covid-19 crisis has cost the nation billions of pounds. That could not have been foreseen when he promised no tax increases in the run-up to the 2019 election, and that is the reason this measure is necessary. He was – of course – lying.
The government created new money to pay for the Covid crisis; there was no cost to the nation at all. So the situation now is exactly what it was in 2019, as far as tax increases are concerned.
And there is the issue of what Johnson did with all the money that was created to handle Covid – like blowing £37 billion – more than three times what he expects to raise every year with his NI increase – on Dido Harding’s ‘test and trace’ service that did not work at all.
The PM argues that breaking his promise re NatIns is justified by Covid being an unexpected burden on the public purse. It’s worth pointing out the billions he bunged to Tory friends like Dido Harding would have paid for social care several times over.@BorisJohnson
— Justin Miller 🏳️🌈 🇪🇺 (@letterstolocke) September 7, 2021
Let’s be clear
Government offers £36 billion for social care AND the #NHS over the next 3 years
Government wasted more (£37 billion) on a test and trace service that made ‘no appreciable difference’ to the pandemic
— Jacky Davis (@DrJackyDavis) September 7, 2021
And what happened to all that Brexit money?
Back in 2016, Johnson campaigned for the UK to leave the EU, in a big red bus emblazoned with the message, “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund the NHS instead”. The UK has now left the EU and not a single penny of that so-called “Brexit bonus” has reached the National Health Service. Instead, Johnson is taxing the poor on the pretext that they will pay for it.
— Helen💙🔸#FBPE #ForeverEuropean (@brightsider123) September 7, 2021
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) September 7, 2021
Johnson’s apologists have leapt up to praise him for doing something about the social care crisis in the UK – but they haven’t been able to hide the fact: what he has done is worse than nothing.
Laura Kuennsberg on News at 10 “Boris Johnson has decided it’s better to take an imperfect action than do nothing at all.”
I’m not convinced those are the only two options..
— Michael Walker (@michaeljswalker) September 7, 2021
I've lost count of how many times political reporters have repeated the obviously Downing Street-briefed line that 'Johnson is a PM who's prepared to take tough decisions'.
On what planet is it a tough decision to put the greatest burden on those with the least wealth and power?
— Steve Howell (@FromSteveHowell) September 7, 2021
Not a single highly qualified, well paid, very experienced Daily Express journalist asked the PM about the £350M promised in blood and written in stone…
— JoePublic (@joepublic99) September 7, 2021
They don’t mention facts like this, either:
it is almost funny that Boris Johnson rejected a junk food tax and a fuel duty rise, because they would be taxes on "working people" – but wants to increase national insurance, which is literally a tax *only* on working people.
— Henry Mance (@henrymance) September 7, 2021
The failure of the mainstream, mass media to hold Johnson and his government to account has been monumental – if expected. That doesn’t mean it should be accepted:
At the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, it is a national scandal that, as the Tories condemn millions of people to lifetimes of hardship, and secure the inordinate wealth of their class for generations to come, self-professed progressive journalists are sitting on their hands.
— Rivkah Brown (@RivkahBrown) September 7, 2021
Particularly damning has been criticism of Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose feather-light opposition to the proposals makes a mockery of his party.
The best he had to offer was an attack on Conservative claims to be the party of low taxation…
Labour is attacking the Tories from the right. The leadership is really beyond a joke at this point. pic.twitter.com/p1BkFZinJQ
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) September 7, 2021
… but Labour’s philosophy has always been that tax is fine, as long as it has a purpose and is fair. Johnson’s plan for social care demonstrates neither of those traits but Starmer couldn’t – or wouldn’t – see it.
He has become a sick joke, as critics have been quick to point out:
— Attic Rahman (@atticrahman) September 7, 2021
Worse, Labour had solid plans for a well-funded National Care Service – along NHS lines – under former leader Jeremy Corbyn – as he, and some Labour MPs, remember:
The crisis in social care can't be fixed by the Tories unfair proposals.
We need a National Care Service for all, funded by progressive taxation, including a wealth tax.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) September 7, 2021
Boris Johnson just claimed there's no social care plan other than his pathetic announcement.
That's not true.
Here's a plan: A National Care Service, modelled on the NHS, free at the point of use, available to all, and funded by taxes on the super-rich.
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) September 7, 2021
I can guarantee you social care would have been funded more efficiently and fairly had Jeremy Corbyn been elected PM. #socialcare
— John Smith (son of Harry Leslie Smith) (@Harryslaststand) September 7, 2021
Do you know how much a wealth tax would bring in? See for yourself:
A Robin Hood tax- a financial tax of 0.05% on the wealth sales of shares, bonds, derivatives & dividends. Estimated to raise £250bl a year. And the Tories are imposing NI tax rises. How the wealthy elite must be laughing at us.
— Howard Beckett (@BeckettUnite) September 7, 2021
But Starmer has thrown Corbyn’s plans away because they would lift people out of poverty – and he seems uninterested in helping poor or working people (a strange stance for a Labour leader).
Starmer's doing an excellent job…of containing and neutralizing Labour as a political force. He's really earned his bonus from the establishment, and his replacement will do exactly the same
— Heavy Manners (@Iron__Mike) September 7, 2021
Another Twitter user, @aconda_an, added – referring to Corbyn: “They had someone with solutions and meaningful policies. They didn’t want it. Shame on them.”
And shame on everybody who voted Conservative in 2019 because they believed Johnson’s lie that he wouldn’t tax them. He’s a Conservative – it is his nature to lie.
You only have yourselves to blame, and you have dragged the rest of us down with you.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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