National Insurance: Rishi Sunak Could Raise Bills To “Take Money Out Of People’s Wages”


A poll released last week shows two-thirds of Britons back increasing national insurance contributions to fund a long-delayed reform of social services in the UK. The Ipsos Mori survey found that 64% of those polled said they would support a 1% increase in national insurance contributions to help fund such reforms. Meanwhile, 65% said they would support the same increase to reduce the NHS backlog caused by the pandemic. It comes after ministers put forward the idea of ​​increasing national insurance earlier this year.

The Conservative Party pledged not to raise taxes in its 2019 manifesto, but public spending throughout the pandemic may have caused an overhaul.

AJ Bell analyst Tom Selby told Express.co.uk the UK government would likely avoid raising income taxes, but could try to dress up a national insurance increase.

He said, “It would be too toxic. They have the triple tax lock as part of the 2019 manifesto, all the rumors coming from the Treasury suggest they want to stick to it as much as possible.

“In terms of disguise if they had to do either, they would probably go after National Insurance instead and seek to label it as something different.

“In order to keep their pledge not to increase income tax or national insurance, you could create a third way to take money out of people’s wages.”

However, Mr Selby believes that an attack on people’s income would not be the best way to raise money.

He added, “Besides popularity, targeting people’s income means they have less money to spend in the economy.

“If you go too hard on people’s income, people can spend less in stores, which means businesses aren’t getting the income they need, and they won’t pay the taxes the treasury has to pay.” for expenses related to the pandemic. “

Mr Selby said increasing wealth taxes – such as inheritance taxes and capital gains taxes – would be fairer.

READ MORE: Capital Gains Tax: Sunak Could Increase Asset Tax ‘Dramatically’

But if the Chancellor does not, a “significant” increase in national insurance would be likely.

He added: “The Chancellor has stated that he does not want to go down the path of increasing the wealth tax, I suspect that with something like a wealth tax anyone with money can move assets to avoid the bill.

“If you weren’t going to go this route, you should be talking about significant increases in national insurance or income tax – something that affects everyone.

“The sums of money at stake are simply too high to be deducted on their own from inheritance taxes, capital gains or pensions.”

The Guardian reported three weeks ago that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was considering an increase in national insurance contributions.

But after the backlash from the Conservative Party, he could change course, according to the report.

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A cabinet minister said: “The Treasury was trying to push the prime minister in a particular direction, and he put his foot down. “

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has publicly downplayed the idea of ​​increasing national insurance, telling Sky News last month that it would be inconsistent with the Tory manifesto.

He said: “That’s what the manifesto says, I don’t see how we could increase national insurance.

“But you know, things have been very flexible over the last 18 months: we have been through an unprecedented time, we have spent huge sums of money that we never thought possible and it depends on the chancellor and of the Treasury, and the government at large, to decide on a budget.

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