• Opine

This national insurance rise is another tax on the working class

Boris Johnson’s care levy won’t make up for the damage caused—it’ll generate more.

By Aidan Bridgeman

Image courtesy of Scottish Government via Flickr


Is it any surprise that once again Boris Johnson is playing to his crowd? I suppose it makes sense. The Conservative government hasn't exactly given the elderly much of a break over the past year or so, what with the triple pension lock being suspended and the coronavirus pandemic. It hasn’t been easy-going. Will a patchwork, cobbled-together health and care recovery plan suffice? Well, there’s no time for deliberation anyway! Johnson, with a cabinet reshuffle having just taken place, ensured no frontbenchers spoke up or risked their necks.


Creating divisions even within his own party between ‘realists’ and ‘high Tories’, the UK Prime Minister has filed for an unjustifiable warrant to charge the pockets of the working class by increasing the rate of National Insurance. Contributions and dividends tax will both rise by 1.25%.


Perhaps this is a way of resolving himself of guilt, however. That’s because with this tax hike Johnson has admitted many, many NHS failings, fundamental ones at that. Not that it should resolve him of guilt, but in this age of constantly being bombarded with news and opinion from every angle, any politician that apparently speaks some ‘truth’ is held in high regard. Even if, as is most often the case with the Tories, they’re nothing but the enemy to everyone except their rich pals.


It comes from a backlog of NHS doctor appointments, now planned to skyrocket as restrictions ease, as well as a general need for an established care service (ideally free at the point of use) with the UK’s aging population.


Initially, it seems like the opposite of a conservative thing to do; tax rises generally aren’t considered ‘small government’ if you follow that understanding. But this levy on the working class is a classic conservative tactic. Another puzzle piece of fascism.


You’ll note as well, the ones who will be benefiting from this new funding the most are the homeowners and wealth-hoarders, generally speaking. We may see adverts on TV of pensioners freezing in cold homes, but turns out they are, in fact, the second wealthiest group in the UK—far more likely to be millionaires. Perhaps the fact that we see many of the elderly as being poor-off says more about the state of the UK than anything else.


Of course, let’s not forget Johnson’s new universal credit cut of £20, which will push an estimated 800,000 people into poverty, further squeezing the very worst-off in society. It’s disgusting how those at the top in power don’t understand how much that amount of money is worth to some people. Not only are gas prices also set to rise, but so are food prices, what with the shelves being empty from Brexit. It’s not all doom and gloom though; inflation is set only to rise by 4%! Obvious sarcasm is obvious, I’d hope.


Analysis requested by the Liberal Democrats has found that this tax hike will result in NHS staff and care workers being presented with a £900 tax bill, according to the Guardian. What about the money we have supposedly saved from the EU? How about introducing progressive, not regressive, income taxation? Wealth taxes? Labour is looking into closing a loophole in private equity tax avoidance too. The Tories shouldn’t exactly be short on ideas for crowdfunding. Yet, they’re going after working people once again by using a system not understood by everyone to try and please their core voters who they, time and time again, stab in the back.