NHS workers are due to get a 3% salary raise; will your National Insurance rise to cover it?
NATIONAL Insurance (NI) payments have recently been in the spotlight, with suggestions that the government may be compelled to hike rates to cover coronavirus-related expenses. This was called into doubt again today when Kwasi Kwarteng, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was compelled to explain how NHS pay increases will be funded.
The government has awarded NHS workers a 3% salary increase in recognition of the “unique impact” of the pandemic on personnel. This offer is three times greater than what was originally offered in March, when the Department of Health and Social Care warned that a 1% increase was the most that could be afforded.
In light of this, Mr Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, was questioned on Sky News today about how the government will be able to pay the hike.
Kay Burley remarked Matt Hancock had previously stated that there was no money for such hikes, so how could Mr Kwarteng and the rest of the government afford it now?
Mr. Kwarteng explained that the state would fund it through “general taxation.”
Ms Burley reacted by asking if this included boosting NI rates, something she had previously been advised was not possible under any circumstances by one of Mr Kwarteng’s colleagues.
Mr Kwarteng was insistent that NI should not be increased in his response.
“I don’t see how we might increase NI,” Mr Kwarteng remarked, “but you know, things have been quite flexible over the last 18 months.” We’ve lived through an extraordinary period in which we’ve spent vast sums of money that we never imagined conceivable.
“A Budget is decided by the Chancellor, the Treasury, and the Government, but the Budget isn’t due for a few months now.”
Ms Burley reminded Mr Kwarteng of the Government’s existing social care expenditures, but the Business Secretary reaffirmed that NI would not be raised to meet them.
“That is, again, another topic that we are debating inside the Government,” Mr Kwarteng stated. We should have a policy in place by the autumn, according to my understanding.
“I don’t think we’ll put up NI for the time being.”
When pressed on how the government plans to cover the costs without raising NI, Mr Kwarteng indicated that he didn’t know how it would be done yet, but that the government was working on a solution.
Mr. “Brinkwire Summary News.” Ms. Burley questioned whether the Conservatives would be forced to break their manifesto promises, and Mr.