22nd Oct, 2021

'The poorest will be hit hardest' - Coventry South MP slams government over National Insurance 'hike'

COVENTRY South MP Zarah Sultana has lambasted the Government’s proposal to raise National Insurance by 1.25 per cent to tackle NHS Covid backlogs and reform the adult social care system.

Describing it as a ‘hike’, the Labour member warned it would hit lower income earners and young people the most, adding the richer earners should be stumping up more.

She said: “During the pandemic, the wealth of UK billionaires has rocketed by £106,500,000,000.

“But instead of making them pay their fair share, this National Insurance hike will hit low paid and young workers the hardest, doing nothing about the obscene wealth of the super-rich.

“There is no doubt that the NHS and social care desperately needs more funding, with fundamental reform to social care, transforming it into a National Care Service – modelled on the NHS, free at the point of use and accessible to all.

“This should be paid for with a wealth tax on the super-rich, not a tax rise on the poor. That is why I signed an amendment calling for a wealth tax on assets in excess of £5million and will be voting against this tax rise. It’s an attack on the living standards of working people in Coventry and across the country.”

Making the announcement yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed the move would generate £36billion worth of investment and, defending what constituted a breach of the Conservatives’ manifesto promise, he added it was ‘responsible, fair and necessary to provide biggest catch-up programme in the history of the NHS and reform the adult social care system’.

The £36billion. the Government said, would be invested in the health and care system over the next three years, to ensure it had the long term resource it needs.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said: “You can’t fix the Covid backlogs without giving the NHS the money it needs.

“You can’t fix the NHS without fixing social care, you can’t fix social care without removing the fear of losing everything to pay for it, and you can’t fix health and social care without long-term reform. The plan I am setting out today will fix all of these problems together.

“Our nurses, doctors and care workers have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic in our hour of need.”

The Government also announced it would support those without savings – with the state covering all care costs for anyone with assets under £20,000.

Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be expected to contribute to the cost of their care but will also receive state support, which will be means-tested.

The new £100,000 limit is over four times higher than the current limit of £23,250, meaning many more people will be eligible for support than under the current system.

The overall system will be made fairer, to ensure those who fund their own care do not pay more than state-funded individuals for the equivalent standard of care.

So what will it mean to our incomes?

The increase will see workers on £20,000 pay an extra £130 per year, it would be an extra £225 for those on £30,000 and £550 more for people earning £50,000.

* WHAT do you think? Do you welcome the Government’s National Insurance increase and agree it is ‘responsible, fair and necessary’? Maybe you have other ideas about how the ‘broken social care system’ should be fixed. Email us your views to editor@coventryobserver.co.uk

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