Category Archives: National Insurance

National Insurance backlash threatens serious harm to Tories

What has he done? By the time Boris Johnson realises his error in taxing poor people to pay for the rich, it will probably be too late and an expression like this won’t save him.

Could this be Boris Johnson’s ‘poll tax’ moment?

Her disastrous miscalculation that the UK’s electorate would tolerate a hugely-regressive flat-rate tax that treated the poorest wage slave the same as the richest billionaire led to Margaret Thatcher’s ejection from office in 1990.

Now, with his plan to charge working people for care services that will also serve rich people who won’t have to pay for it, it seems Boris Johnson has made the same critical blunder.

That’s why message like this are starting to appear:

And this one, referencing Priti Patel’s threat to force refugees to jump into the English Channel – potentially drowning themselves – rather than allow them onto UK soil:

The betrayal of so-called ‘key workers’ – the lowest-paid but vital majority who keep the UK running – is clear:

Already the Tories have plummeted by five points in the latest YouGov opinion poll, putting them one point behind Labour because of Boris Johnson, not Keir Starmer…

… and while some may believe the situation will return to normal as soon as something else takes people’s attention from the fact that Boris Johnson is subjecting them to an ongoing, perpetual daylight robbery, others believe the situation is more serious:

The real question is whether the Labour Party can capitalize on this colossal Conservative pratfall:

The trouble is, Keir Starmer doesn’t want a National Care Service and has ditched former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s plan for one.

And here’s another suggestion that is vetoed by Starmer’s behaviour:

So it seems Labour isn’t about to rock the boat.

Perhaps Starmer thinks voters don’t have anywhere else to go. He’s mistaken about that.

As for the Tories: if Boris Johnson insists on ramming this unfair tax down the throats of the poor, he’ll be toast.

Tories won’t tolerate a threat to their power and if the poll dip turns into a trough – or indeed a trench – then he’ll face a strong challenge to his leadership. And he isn’t enough of a leader to face it down.

And then, history suggests, the Tories will backtrack and we’ll get a sticking-plaster tax that may even be slightly more fair – and a sticking-plaster PM who’ll be a lot worse than John Major was, back in the 1990s.

And he was dire.

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Pension triple lock scrapped for a year. But will the Tories stop there?

This Site predicted the suspension of the pensions triple lock, so it’s no surprise here.

The problem with the commitment to increase pensions every year by the highest of pensions, earnings or 2.5 per cent is that it did not anticipate a huge fall in earnings like that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by a similarly whopping rise when everybody went back to work and pay packets re-balanced.

It meant the highest of the three benchmarks – this year – is a massive eight per cent increase. And the Tories don’t want to pay it.

Back in July, I suggested the Tories were making a big fuss about nothing because they could impose a stop-gap increase that reflects the increase in the cost of living (which is what the triple lock is supposed to do).

It turns out that the Tories are doing something similar. Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said that – for this year only – pensions would rise by inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher. The earnings increase will be restored to the calculation next year.

The decision has caused bitter resentment in some quarters, because people are upset that the Tories have broken a manifesto promise.

But this misses the point completely.

The point is that the UK state pension is one of the worst pension deals in the whole world.

On retirement, our pensioners will receive, on average, 29 per cent of their former earnings. This compares with an increase of 0.6 per cent in the Netherlands, more than 90 per cent of former earnings in Portugal, Italy and Austria, and an OECD (Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development) nations’ average of nearly 63 per cent.

In fact, the UK’s pensions deal comes in at slightly worse than that provided in… Mexico.

This was a chance to level up the UK pension with some of our closest neighbours – but the Tories didn’t want to. That’s why people should be angry.

Of course, with the national insurance increase that the Tories say will pay for social care (eventually), pensioners will be worse off than ever – because pensioners who are still earning an income will pay towards it.

And there’s another aspect to this.

It is the rivalry between the old and the young over state benefits, the perception that pensioners get more than their fair share, and that they should lose some in order to correct a perceived imbalance.

This is utter piffle.

As Craig Berry states in The Guardian,

We can and should spend more on social security for young and old people alike.

To believe that a Conservative government would invest what it saves by removing the triple lock on today’s young people requires some magical thinking.

In practice, by reducing the state pension accrual rate (the entitlements we build up in return for paying national insurance), scrapping the triple lock would effectively amount to a significant tax hike on young people.

That’s because the tax they pay now would entitle them to a lower income in retirement than previously anticipated.

So it is ridiculous to suggest that we need to cut pension increases in order to help the young. It simply won’t happen.

Let’s face it – it simply hasn’t happened.

The (alleged) social care-related increase to National Insurance will affect young people and pensioners alike.

Because that’s what Tories are like.

They don’t take away from one group that needs help, in order to give to another.

They take from both, in order to give to themselves – as you can see with Boris Johnson’s National Insurance hike.

My only question is, do we believe them when they say they’re going to bring the triple lock back?

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Boris Johnson’s lie-ridden social care proposals are a disaster for workers – and pensioners

“I’m going to apply the pincers and drag every last penny out of the poor”: Boris Johnson explains how he’ll make sure rich people don’t have to pay a penny towards their social care, so they can pass their millionaire mansions to their kids [no, he didn’t really say that. But it is what he intends to do].

Boris Johnson’s announcement of a rise in National Insurance, claiming it will pay for social care, was expected. It seeks to camouflage a new catalogue of his lies and hide the fact that he is making the poorest pay for the care of the richest.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

So, for example, here’s the impact on graduates:

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:

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:

Average earners lose a lot too…

… and if you earn less than the average, you get hit by the Universal Credit cut as well…

… and this means child poverty will increase:

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.

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.

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.

They don’t mention facts like this, either:

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:

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…

… 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:

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:

Do you know how much a wealth tax would bring in? See for yourself:

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).

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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National Insurance punishment for the poor would mean Johnson lied YET AGAIN

Liar, liar, liar: I know this image was created in relation to Johnson’s Covid-19 policy but it now applies equally to his apparent plan for National Insurance.

We’re hearing that Boris Johnson’s Tory government is planning a National Insurance rise to pay for improved social care.

The Daily Torygraph reckons a one per cent increase is being demanded by Johnson’s office at Downing Street, while the Treasury – Rishi Sunak’s mob – wants a bigger increase of 1.25 per cent.

And The Times says Sajid Javid at the Department of Health and Social Care wants two per cent (although apparently he has denied this, saying he wants a lower figure).

The BBC reckons

For someone on average earnings of £29,536 a year, a 1% increase in national insurance would cost them £199.68 annually.

Most of us aren’t on that kind of pay packet because the national average is grossly inflated by the amount taken by people in the top 10 per cent, but it would still be a huge hike for those on £15-16k – and money that they can’t afford to lose.

Why should we pay any extra at all? Johnson promised in his 2019 election manifesto that there would be no National Insurance increases during this Parliament.

Hear the proof for yourself, from Johnson’s own lips:

The very first thing that occurred to This Writer when I heard about the plan was that Johnson has given so much money in Covid-related contracts to his Tory friends and doners – in return for nothing useful, remember – that he feels justified in saying there is no cash for this.

The corruption in such an act should be obvious to even the most blinkered working-class Tory.

Furthermore (or alternatively; there’s very little difference), this will be another opportunity for him to push working people into poverty. Those of us who receive Universal Credit are to lose £1,000 a year when the weekly £20 uplift is stripped away and now Johnson is targeting those of us who earn enough that we have to pay National Insurance – which also includes people on UC.

Richard Murphy puts it very well on his Tax Research UK site:

In the article, he states,

Rishi Sunak wishes that people should be punished for wanting more NHS spending.

He explains:

NIC is a deeply regressive tax. As the government’s own table of rates, allowances and reliefs makes clear, the tax targets those on lower pay. The charge starts on income below the income tax threshold. It is cut drastically on income above £50,268 a year. It is, therefore a deeply unfair tax already.

But worse are the exemptions from the tax. The retired, however well off they might be, do not pay it.

NIC is not paid at all on unearned income, whether from interest, dividends, rents, trusts or other sources.

And those with the means to manipulate their income – as many self-employed people with their own companies have been able to do – can avoid large parts of their NIC liability.

So, this is a tax on those in paid employment above all else.

This means that this is a tax on those most likely to be least able to afford a tax increase in this country.

Murphy makes very good points that the government doesn’t need to raise NI – firstly because it can just create the money (as it did with all the cash used to pay for the Covid contracts), and secondly because the economic multiplier effect of ensuring that people have proper care and their relatives aren’t distracted by trying to provide it means that the cost – and possibly more – is paid back into the Treasury in an increased tax take.

He adds that Sunak is not proposing an increase affecting the rich because he assumes they have all opted into (inferior) private health care, although there is no evidence to support this.

Read the article for the full details.

His final point is perhaps the most damning of all: by increasing the tax demand on poor and working people, Sunak will cause more stress that harms their health, thereby increasing the strain on our already-overstretched National Health Service.

Sunak knows this and wants it, because it will increase dissatisfaction with the NHS and – he hopes – increase demand for full privatisation (even though that will make the health of the vast majority of the UK population even worse).

Worse still for this policy is the apparent lack of any strategy to use the extra money on improvements in the social care system. It seems the money will simply go into the bank accounts of the private companies that own (we can’t say “run”) social care homes:

And of course people are asking the obvious questions of the prime minister who told us the massive savings we would make from ceasing to pay huge amounts into the European Union could be put to use over here:

What happened to all that money? Where is it?

So we see that Johnson is again making a liar of himself, Sunak is planning to use that lie to punish poor and working people, and the social care system won’t even enjoy any improvement.

It’s another typical Tory cock-up and they don’t care because it only hurts poor people.

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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‘Care’ minister who helped kill off 20,000 people is now shooing nurses out of the NHS

No pay rise for nurses: by keeping the payroll as low as possible, aren’t the Tories making the NHS more attractive to US corporate buyers?

Helen Whately is a vacuous, propaganda-spewing incompetent – in other words, she is typical of the UK’s current Tory government.

Not satisfied with having presided over the Covid-19 deaths of more than 20,000 care home residents in her role as minister for social care, she has now turned her sights on nurses.

In a car-crash breakfast interview, she tried to tell the nation that nurses don’t deserve a pay rise after all the good work they have done keeping people alive in spite of her own, and her colleagues’, incompetence – because they are locked into an unfair pay deal that was imposed on them three years ago.

Here’s Peter Stefanovic with video of her attempt to dissemble during the interview, interspersed with the shocking facts:

The difference between Whately’s words and the cold hard facts is more than a quarter of a nurse’s wages; she says they’ve had at least a six per cent pay rise since 2017 but in fact their wages have plummeted by a whopping 20 per cent.

This Site has already published the facts and you can see them for yourself here.

I said the lack of a pay rise suggests an attempt to keep NHS costs down to make the service attractive to US corporate buyers in a trade deal with Donald Trump.

The trouble is, it is also weakening the service – which is already short of 40,000 nurses – by encouraging staff to walk out and take higher-waged jobs elsewhere.

A huge part of the problem, I think, is that you can tell by Whately’s vacant expression that she actually believes the lies she has been told to speak.

One can only sympathise with the good people of Faversham and Mid Kent, who were clearly outvoted by similarly dimwitted Tory twits. That’s the only way anyone with any intelligence could have ended up with such a disgrace as their representative.

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Tories are stalling on social care because they don’t want you to have it

Matt Hancock: millions of people are going without vital care because this bubblehead can’t be bothered to read a report.

Is it really any surprise that the Tory response to Covid-19 in social care situations has been a massacre?

They have no interest in using public funds to provide care for people who need it; they don’t think the money is meant for that.

Also, of course, anything with the word “social” in its title is like garlic to a vampire for them.

For example, has Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock got round to reading a report that stated – in July 2019 – that the social care system needed a cash injection of £8 billion, just to keep it ticking along?

Who knows how much cash it needs now?

Hancock was supposed to respond within two months but didn’t. Perhaps he was on his summer holibobs.

It is now more than a year later. Yes, Hancock has had to handle the Covid-19 pandemic – but if he was a responsible minister, he would not leave other matters dangling, and in any case the crisis has identified serious failings in care home provision.

Hancock has done nothing about them, nor has he lifted a finger to address failings that have left no fewer than 1.4 million older people in the community without help that they need desperately.

Public funding has fallen by £700 million since the Conservatives came back into office in 2010, and 400,000 people have lost their entitlement to help because successive Tory minister couldn’t be bothered to increase the level of means below which a person should be eligible for help, in line with inflation.

Boris Johnson ignored the scandal in his manifesto for last year’s election because he was afraid it would derail is campaign – and your true-blue Tory mass media dutifully turned a blind eye.

Theresa May’s 2017 election campaign was derailed by the issue of social care, after she proposed draconian measures to take families’ property away from them, in order to fund care for frail relatives.

Finally, last week, pressed for an answer on social care by a coalition of English councils, Hancock volunteered a cobbled-together choice between forcing everybody aged over 40 to contribute extra taxes to fund social care in later life – in line with models running in Japan and Germany, and compelling us all to take out insurance that will pay the bills later.

Neither plan is workable.

Firstly, what if people who are taxed for social care in later life never actually need it? This Writer’s grandmother lived to the ripe age of 88, with Altzheimer’s in her later years, but never had social care; my parents are both in their 80s now and are happily – and healthily – at home. Contribution to such a fund for any of them would have been a waste of money.

And the insurance plan is a no-hoper too: payment into private insurance schemes inevitably creates the temptation to cheat the payee out of their funds. Look at the way the criminal US insurance firm Unum cheated its clients out of their payments by ensuring that they could never meet the conditions required for payouts. Look at the number of UK pension funds that have been raided.

And of course we already pay into an insurance fund for our old age: National Insurance. The Tories could simply increase that by 1.5 per cent (that’s the amount of their income that Germans pay), rather than farming the job out to let privateers rob us all.

Either Hancock hasn’t considered any of these issues or he doesn’t care.

Source: Matt Hancock has failed to respond to report warning of social care ‘scandal’ nine months after deadline | The Independent

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Coronavirus: Tories threaten tax increase on self-employed after non-offer of help

Rishi Sunak: his promises are worthless – but you can bet he’ll follow through on his threats.

Typical Tories: they make a long list of promises that get broken within a week and then try to charge us a fortune for them.

So, with the self-employed, they’ve offered to pay 80 per cent of normal profits (not wages, as with employees).

But they won’t even start providing this until some time in June.

And self-employed people will be taxed for receiving that money.

And in the meantime, they want any of us whose income stream dries up to claim Universal Credit, joining an online/telephone queue of tens of thousands, as the Department for Work and Pensions is completely unable to cope.

This is the (bad) deal that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has offered – to 85 per cent of self-employed people.

And now, days later, he’s telling us he’ll increase National Insurance paid by all self-employed people because he says this excuse for a bailout makes it impossible to justify them paying less than others.

It’s a con.

Chances are that self-employed people won’t get anything – or will receive next-to-nothing; certainly not enough to cover their outgoings.

And they will be made to pay many times more than they receive in the years to come.

That is what’s “harder to justify”.

We don’t have a government – we have a gang of thieves. And they are using an epidemic to justify their daylight robbery.

Source: Coronavirus: Chancellor warns self-employed they face tax hike after crisis – Mirror Online

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Huge National Insurance rise for millions of UK citizens

151117national-insurance-card

National Insurance contributions will be going up by an average of 15 per cent for more than five million people in April.

The lower the earnings the bigger the percentage rise.

Technically this does not break the Government’s election pledge – made four times in the Conservative Party Manifesto 2015 – that “we will not raise VAT, National Insurance contributions or Income Tax”.

The Treasury told me that the pledge only applied to main tax and National Insurance rates and in any case this increase had been announced by the previous government and so was outside the pledge.

Source: Paul Lewis Money: NATIONAL INSURANCE RISE FOR MILLIONS

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