Selected Quotes: Health and Social Care Levy 8th September 2021

Jake Barry (Con)

Will my right hon. Friend [Jesse Norman] tell the House how much the 1.25% increase in national insurance will cost the NHS on top of its current payroll?

John Redwood (Con)

I understand that for a couple of years this tax revenue goes to the NHS, not to care, to get the waiting lists down. By how many will the waiting lists be reduced, and what is the plan for using this money to actually cut them?

Rachael Maskell (Lab)

Does the Minister not recognise the burden he is placing on small businesses, many of which the Government completely excluded and failed to support during the pandemic, in their now having to pay this extra levy, as opposed to making a fair taxation system that falls on those who can pay the most?

Clive Betts (Lab)

So are we expecting the pressures on social care to be funded not from this document, but actually from further rises in council tax?


Jesse Norman (Minister)(Con)

When it comes to individuals, those earning more will pay more. Conversely, at least 6.2 million people earning less than the NICs primary threshold will not pay the levy at all.

Rachel Reeves (Lab)

First, does it fix social care? Secondly, is it funded fairly? The answer to both those questions is no. It is a broken promise, it is unfair, and it is a tax on jobs. At the general election less than two years ago, the Prime Minister said to voters:

Read my lips, we will not be raising taxes on income or VAT or national insurance.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer—I am not sure where he is today—went further and solemnly said:

Our plans are to cut taxes for the lowest paid through cutting national insurance.”

.The Government will claim that that is all down to the pandemic, but in March this year—a year into the pandemic—the Chancellor promised that national insurance would not go up. He said,

this Government are not going to raise the rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT…Nobody’s take-home pay will be less than it is now”.—[Official Report, 3 March 2021; Vol. 690, c. 256.]

.We should be looking at all forms of income, not just income from people who go out to work. A landlord who rents out a number of properties will pay nothing, whereas his tenants in work will. That is not fair, and that is why we cannot support the motion this evening.

.Which types of income will be paying no additional tax after today? They include those who get their income from financial assets, stocks and shares, sales of property, pension income, annuity income, interest income, property rental income and inheritance income.

Joanna Cherry (SNP)

…An anonymous member of the Cabinet is quoted in The Daily Telegraph as being very critical of this policy:

If you get all your income from investments and property you don’t pay a penny but if you work your guts out for minimum wage you get clobbered.”

Can my hon. Friend hazard a guess as to what the Tories have against taxing unearned income?

Alison Theliss (SNP)

…this person, an anonymous member of the Conservative party, said:

Putting up National Insurance would be morally, economically and politically wrong.”

They went on to say:

After all that’s happened in the last 18 months they can’t seriously be thinking about a tax raid on supermarket workers and nurses so the children of Surrey homeowners can receive bigger inheritances.”

Well, yes indeed they are.

..The Federation of Small Businesses has called the national insurance hike

anti-job, anti-small business, anti-start up”,

pointing out that the increase to national insurance will

stifle recruitment, investment and efforts to upskill and improve productivity in the years ahead.”

Jake Barry (Con)

There are three reasons why I think this will be particularly damaging to areas such as the one that I represent. First, ours is an area with low incomes. The lower a person’s income, the more that person pays, as a proportion of that income, in national insurance contributions. The national insurance rate on incomes above £50,000—before these changes—is just 2%. So those on the lowest incomes pay the most proportionately in national insurance contributions.

..It is perfectly possible to put up income tax, which is a much fairer way of taxing people across the income scale, and, of course, picks up wealthy pensioners with very large pensions, picks up dividend income, and picks up rental income….

Angela Eagle (Lab)

At the moment, there are 112,000 vacancies in the care sector, and staff turnover is 34% a year. That indicates the need for fundamental reform. The pay for working in an Amazon warehouse or a supermarket is higher than the pay for caring. Surely that is wrong?

Edward Leigh (Con)

For a low-tax Conservative, it is relatively easy to attack this measure—indeed, I could spend my entire five minutes doing so. I could quote the fates of previous conservative Governments, whether led by President George Bush in America or John Major here, who have put up taxes dramatically—John Major did so in a recession—and been punished at the polls. It is relatively easy to attack this measure but much more difficult to provide an alternative.

.“Why should we subsidise pensioners at the same time as we are increasing NICs on the young?”

… the NHS is in crisis and that we have to do something about care homes, but we do have a plan to control public spending. I know that the Chief Secretary agrees with me, but he may not want to leap to the Dispatch Box to say that now, especially as a reshuffle is imminent.

Meg Hillier (Lab)

This proposal is about protecting the capital assets of the wealthiest. I am a London MP, and this proposal will protect a lot of people in London who are like me: a homeowner in London with a wealthy asset for whom £86,000 is a small percentage of the home I own.

Mike Penning (Con)

I am a fiscal Conservative and a working-class Tory, so I love all this class rubbish that keeps being thrown across the Chamber.

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It is absolute, complete and utter tosh.

Nadia Whittome (Lab)

Even the free market Adam Smith Institute condemned them as “morally bankrupt”, saying that the Government was asking

poorer workers to bail out millionaire property owners.”

That comes just weeks before the Chancellor will plunge hundreds of thousands of families into poverty with his universal credit cuts.

Alison Thelis (Lab)

As the hon. Gentleman [John Lamont] well knows and as has been made clear to him in the remarks I made, funding for the NHS is not the issue here; the issue is raising taxes disproportionately on the backs of his and my poorest constituents. I would be interested to hear what he will tell his constituents when they come to his surgery about it.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Lab)

This is a tax rise that will hit the youngest, the poorest and the hardest working in our communities the hardest. It exacerbates the crisis in intergenerational justice that we have in our society at the moment.

Peter Bone (Con)

My hon. Friend [Steve Baker] makes the powerful point that this is what Labour would do in power. Why are we doing it as Conservatives?

Laura Trott (Con)

.it is unacceptable for us to play Russian roulette with people’s life savings when it comes to social care. One in seven people are going to be affected by this. Just because their loved one died of dementia rather than cancer, their life savings are being entirely wiped out.

Jane Hunt (Con)

I could mention many cases that have been referred to me over the years of elderly people who are afraid to come out of hospital because they know they are not well enough to live independently but are afraid to move into the care system because of the cost.

Natalie Elphicke (Con)

The hon. Member for Leeds West (Rachel Reeves) asked about election leaflets. Well, in mine I committed to better healthcare, and I know that it is this Government who are funding and delivering that for the people of Dover and Deal.

Jim Shannon (DUP)

We are all aware that the NHS is the pride of the UK, and we are similarly aware that there is a grim possibility that it may become our biggest loss. I am therefore very much focused on health issues. That loss would be because of historical underfunding as well as the unseen pressures that covid has placed on every facet of the NHS, from dentists, physios and surgeons to waiting lists, assessments and operations.

Jesse Phillips (Lab)

I notice from the right hon. Member’s [Andrew Murrison] entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests that he makes income via rentals, as many people in this House do. Does he think it is fair that, in what has been presented to us today, rental income for landlords is completely not within the remit of any take for this levy, so there will be care workers in South West Wiltshire who are paying this on the income they make being care workers while it will not be paid by landlords with rental income?

Zara Sultana (Lab)

Over the course of the pandemic the UK has amassed a record number of billionaires—171. Their wealth has rocketed by more than £106 billion and in total now stands just shy of £600 billion, up nearly 25% since May 2020.

Dehenna Davison (Con)

I also want to thank our care workers. I have to mention my cousin Natalie and my great aunt Elaine, who have been fantastic, working throughout the pandemic. I have said it now. They will be watching at home.

Mike Wood (Con)

However, if raising taxation is a bad option, surely the alternative—not acting—is far, far worse.

Hew Merriman (Con)

It has been a pleasure for us to sit here for the past four hours and exercise by seeking to catch your eye, Madam Deputy Speaker, no doubt contributing towards alleviating our future social care needs.

Angela Richardson (Con)

I am Conservative because I believe in being pragmatic  and realistic, not stuck in ideological thinking, but willing to find solutions to seemingly intractable problems and, more importantly, making sure that those solutions are fit for the times in which we find ourselves.

Peter Bone (Con)

I am very unhappy with today’s procedure. Although I support the idea of more money for the NHS and I have no objection to it being done through national insurance, I absolutely object to saying that this has anything to do with the Health and Care Bill, because that has not been through the House. Social care should be paid for separately. We should have the Bill and debate it, it should go through Committee stage and through the Lords, and then it should be paid for. I have no idea which clever-clogs in No. 10 thought it was a great idea to mix these two things up. Social care is one of the most important things—if not the most important—that this House will have to decide on. It should be done separately and properly.

Bridget Phillipson (Lab)

It is ludicrous that a landlord will be paying not a single penny more, but their tenants—many of them perhaps working in the NHS or social care—are about to be clobbered by a tax rise.


Health and Social Care Levy – Wednesday 8 September 2021 – Hansard – UK Parliament



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