It was announced near the end of last year that National Insurance (NI) rates are due to increase by 1.25 percent in April 2022 despite rising cost of living. Cabinet ministers have warned that now is not the time for tax rises although the plans for the hike don’t appear to be budging.
Amongst record high inflation, disappointing interest rates and a cost of living crisis, Britons are eager to see the plans for an NI hike scrapped.
The hike was announced as a way to fund PM Boris Johnson’s social care plan and is due to be a temporary 12 month increase.
By April 2023 the rates are intended to drop back down while pensioners will then take over the costs with the new social care levy.
Many across the nation have expressed outrage at the hike, especially as it broke a manifesto pledge made by the Conservatives to not increase the tax rate.
Express.co.uk readers shared their opinions on the rise, with a very clear divide between those who are willing to deal with the increase in order to support social care and those who believe the money should be present elsewhere.
Reader Wolf8643 believes claims made when the EU referendum started should be able to support the current social care plan and costs involved with it.
They wrote: “Boris said we give the EU £350million a week, let’s give that to the NHS instead. So I would like to ask him – where is the money going now?
“If the £350million a week is going to the NHS then why does he need to raise taxes?”
Another reader, Mableone, contradicted Wolf8643 saying: “Neither did it say that all the £350million would go to the NHS, it needs reform, not throwing everlasting cash at it. The amount of money spent on indiscriminate purchasing of overpriced goods is staggering.”
Others suggested that if the money could not be found from savings made by leaving the EU, that Foreign Aid should be next on the chopping block before tax rises are even considered.
Harry_McEvoy shared: “Forget the NI hike and END ALL FOREIGN AID, NOW! You know it makes sense.”
Reader Jonjo supported Harry_McEvoy’s view, added: “How many countries have a bigger national debt than the UK? Yet we are still BORROWING even more to GIVE IT AWAY to other people.”
However, opposing this, reader Birdmaniw shared they understood the necessity of the tax rise but disagreed with the social care plan.
They said: “I, like everyone else, abhor tax rises but how are we supposed to deal with the care crisis? Something needs doing desperately and that will involve money and the only source of that money is tax.
“It is completely unfair to devolve care onto local councils as some councils have a higher need than others and it is unfair that some people have to make a higher contribution than others because of where they live.”
Reader AndrewJones73 also shared concerns on the social care plan, noting that scrapping the hike would likely lead to more pensioner poverty.
They stated: “So Boris’s great solution to fund and fix the care crisis in this country, launched with a great fanfare last year, could be scrapped. The old folk back to selling their houses to pay for care then.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We’ve taken decisive and historic action, with our Health and Social Care Levy due to raise around £13billion a year for the NHS and social care. It is a progressive tax with those earning more paying more.
“This will benefit people up and down the country, including by tackling the backlog that the pandemic has created on NHS operations and procedures, strengthening the adult social care system so that people do not have to bear the financial risks of catastrophic care costs themselves, and funding a three percent pay-rise for nurses.”
Should the tax hike go ahead, Britons earning between roughly £20,000 annually will see an extra £130 taken away from their salary.
Meanwhile those in the highest earning groups, with an average £100,000 annual income will lose over £1,000 more to the tax hike.
The tax hike will coincide with a disappointing rise to benefits and state pension, with 3.1 percent more being dolled out.
State pension had the potential to increase by 8.1 percent if the triple lock had remained in place, however pensioners have lost out on hundreds due to its temporary one-year suspension, in favour of a double lock increase of 3.1 percent.