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:
Boris Johnson(manifesto launch 2019) guaranteeing the Tories won't raise income tax, VAT or national insurance.
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) September 3, 2021
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:
Sunak’s 1% national insurance charge to fund the NHS is a deliberate, callous and unnecessary move to increase inequality and hardship in the UK https://t.co/O0nRTJXoEs Sunak is engaged in class warfare – and is going to grind those on lower incomes down whatever the cost
— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) September 3, 2021
In the article, he states,
Rishi Sunak wishes that people should be punished for wanting more NHS spending.
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:
Funding Social Care without restructuring the whole System WILL NOT IMPROVE THE CARE DELIVERED!
The Private Equity Companies will screw the system, the Councils and the Residents even more!
The Social Care Sector and the NHS MUST BE RE-NATIONALISED! 💙https://t.co/iNCQdiaUnf
— BaldyBane💙🌹😷🇵🇸🏴💙💜 (@bane_baldy) September 3, 2021
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:
Wait a moment, why aren't we funding social care from the money we sent to the EU rather than a rise in national insurance?
There was a bus… pic.twitter.com/0Ouj9K8W6t
— David Henig (@DavidHenigUK) September 3, 2021
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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