National Insurance Jobs Tax Sceptics Speak Out
Keir Starmer has come out against the expected National Insurance hike to fund an expansion of social care, joining employers organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Institute of Directors in questioning the raising of employer payroll taxes as the economy struggles to recover from the pandemic. Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, puts it bluntly “This regressive levy is yet another outgoing for small businesses and sole traders to worry about against a backdrop of spiralling input prices, supply chain disruption, a deepening late payment crisis, rent arrears, rates bills returning, skills shortages and emergency loan repayments.” A Tory government at odds with so many employers is not in a comfortable place…
The Institute for Fiscal Studies, which is hardly known for radicalism, warns that workers’ wages will ultimately suffer as employers pass on extra costs, “In the long run, a lot of economists do think that a lot of it will be reflected in wages… the fact that employers have to pay higher employer NICs means they won’t be able to offer as much in terms of wage increases. Therefore, eventually it will be employees who are bearing the cost of employer NICs.” Levelling down rather than up…
Tory MPs are signalling their disquiet more or less openly:
- Loyalist Conor Burns decided yesterday to tweet about the merits of low taxes.
- Mark Pritchard says “Notwithstanding flexing the ‘triple lock’ commitment on pensions & the pledge of no new tax rises on income, NICs & VAT – a question arises of their wider impact on UK economy? Staff & skills shortages, energy hikes, indebtedness, surely call for more ‘tax carrots’ than sticks?”
- Likewise Marcus Fysh thinks “There are modern cooperative ways of getting the right funding into social care which are better for people and their job opportunities than the unimaginative response of going for tax rises”
- John Redwood, as always, thinks taxes are high enough.
- Jake Berry told Today that “Sajid Javid was a great believer in not racking up the jobs tax and I just wonder why he has had a Damascene conversion when becoming the health secretary”
- Robert Halfon tells Times Radio that he wouldn’t vote for an NI rise unless it only applied to those on over £40,000 a year.
- Dehenna Davison told GB News yesterday “I was elected on this manifesto… we absolutely cannot go against this manifesto”.
- Alex Stafford says on Times Radio that “Conservatives shouldn’t be raising taxes willy-nilly” and that he wants to “actually see a plan.”
- David Davis says the plan as he understands it is unfair.
- Charles Walker tells the World at One he advocates a liability insurance scheme to cap losses.
*** Will be updated as more come out in opposition – send updates to email@example.com. ***