Sajid Javid grilled on Universal Credit and National Insurance
Beginning from April 2022, National Insurance tax will rise by 1.25 percent, and the extra levy will hit working pensioners as well as over-65s’ earnings made from shares. The Government is expecting to raise approximately £12billion from the tax hike, to fund Covid recovery for the NHS in the first few years and later to reform the UK’s social care system.
Across social media, public outrage has been voiced at the Prime Minister’s decision to break his manifesto promise of not raising income taxes and to include pensioners in the social care tax after a lifetime of paying National Insurance.
Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaigner, Gina Headdon, tweeted: “Today’s pensioners have already contributed to previous generations’ pensions and paid taxes for years.”
Politicians have also argued that raising National Insurance will hit ordinary families the hardest, many of whom already struggle to make ends meet.
But Britons are completely divided according to a poll of 9379 people held from 1pm September 7 to 3pm September 10.
When Express.co.uk readers were asked whether they agree with Mr Johnson’s National Insurance rise plan, 49.8 percent said they did, whilst 49.2 percent said they did not, and one percent were not sure.
Many readers argued that the Government cannot be blamed for breaking its promise not to raise taxes, because they could not have ‘seen Covid coming’ or predicted the pandemic’s financial cost to the NHS.
One reader said: “Yes some tax increases are required, Covid was not in the Conservative manifesto.”
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However, other readers felt that raising National Insurance was not the right way to raise funds for the health care system.
One voter commented: “Should have taxed Facebook, Google, and Amazon instead.”
Another demanded: “Close the loopholes that the wealthy use to avoid tax, and those used by the likes of Amazon to declare their UK profits elsewhere to avoid tax.
“Stop people registering as limited companies to avoid tax.
“Stop second homeowners from declaring their second house as a business to avoid Council tax before taking more from the hard-pressed PAYE worker.
Directing their attack at the Prime Minister, they pledged: “You will be out, come the next election, after this Boris!”
READ MORE: Tories’ NI tax bill on pensioners branded ‘political suicide’
Tax Justice UK found that support for higher corporation tax amongst Conservative voters jumped from 61 percent in March to 74 percent in June 2020, and 75 percent of Conservatives supported a mansion tax on homes worth over £2million.
Calls for a Wealth Tax instead of a National Insurance hike have been wide-spread.
Richard Burgon, MP for East Leeds, argued: “If we put a 10 percent tax on the wealth of those with over £100m, we would raise £69 billion.
“A wealth tax is how we should fund much-needed investment in social care – not a hike in National Insurance contributions that will hit the lowest paid.”
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Absolutely delighted to be paying more in National Insurance to look after millionaire pensioners who stole my EU citizenship. Just ecstatic.
— Bruce Johnston (@Eoinel_) September 7, 2021
Some readers insisted that foreign aid budgets should be trimmed down to reduce the 1.25 percent increase in National Insurance tax on Britons.
One reader said: “Tax rises were inevitable to pay for furlough, but they should have started with cutting bloated budgets like foreign aid first.”
The Government has cut its foreign aid spending by about £4billion this year, from 0.7 percent to 0.5 percent of its gross national income, to free up cash for Covid recover.
In 1970, Britain pledged to spend 0.7 percent of its national income on aid, joining 30 other wealthy countries in a United Nations pact, and in 2015, Britain enshrined the policy in law.
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Campaigners argue that cuts to foreign aid put the UK at risk, as many of the programmes funded by the British government aim to decrease the spread of diseases and stop international threats like terrorism.
The Government website read: “Investing less than one percent of our national income in aid is creating a safer, wealthier and more secure world.”
In 2020, Britain spent £14.5billion on aid, meeting the 0.7 percent UN target, with a large portion of the funds spent on humanitarian assistance in places like Pakistan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Yemen and Nigeria.
What do you think? Was the Prime Minister right to raise National Insurance? Get involved in the debate in the comments section below.