National Insurance: Ian Blackford criticises tax plan
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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has slapped down the idea of raising National Insurance to help pay for social care. Mr Blackford argued the UK-wide move would leave Scots forced to fork out cash for an issue predominantly affecting England as social care is a non-devolved matter. Boris Johnson is expected to raise national insurance by about 1.2 percent to a major overhaul in social care.
Mr Blackford told LBC’s Iain Dale: “If you think about what’s changed over the course of the last couple of decades you think about tuition fees.
“If you think about the increase in house prices, we are in a lot of difficulties for young people.
“We really need to think that through.
“Some national insurance should just be canceled.”
He went on: “Of course we need to make sure that we fund public services properly but the rub to your question is that if National Insurance is applied and it will apply right across the United Kingdom.
He added: “Whereas if it was income tax, we would be able to take our own actions in Scotland, and keep in mind that we already have free personal care.”
The Prime Minister is believed to be planning to raise national insurance by about 1.2 percent to fund social care in the UK.
The extra cash for the NHS will boost capacity in hospitals as the backlog could more than double to 13 million people on waiting lists by the end of this year.
However, Mr Johnson is facing a furious backlash from MPs who are concerned that the Prime Minister is poised to break a pledge made in the Tories’ 2019 election manifesto.
The manifesto pledge was not to “raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT”.
Small businesses have warned of this “devastating” increase, which would impact severely on their recovery from the pandemic.
Suren Thiru from the British Chamber of Commerce said Monday: “Raising national insurance tax-essentially tax and jobs would have the potential to limit the recovery in jobs or sort of wider recovery.”
Cabinet ministers returned to Downing Street for a face-to-face meeting for the first time in 2021, with many around the table concerned about breaking a general election promise not to raise National Insurance.
Downing Street hopes to present the package as an attempt to help the NHS clear backlogs, as well as resolve long-standing issues around care costs.
No 10 said a lack of integration between the two often sees people “stuck in the wrong care setting, and families worry about meeting the costs of care if they leave NHS provision”.
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