Boris Johnson’s national insurance hike to fund healthcare and social services will hit the NHS and social workers with a £ 900million tax bill, the Guardian can reveal.
The Prime Minister announced this month that contributions were to increase by 1.25 percentage points to tackle the NHS backlog and pay for social protection changes.
Now, an official analysis of the impact of the tax hike, carried out by the House of Commons library, shows that it will inflict a “terrible” financial toll on health and social service workers and their families.
The report reveals that they will pay 12% of the £ 7.4 billion that is expected to be collected from employees through the tax hike. Nurses, nursing home staff and other health and social workers will pay an additional £ 900million in tax, according to the analysis.
The figures do not include people working in the NHS or care who are self-employed, meaning the real impact is likely to be even greater.
Millions of healthcare and care workers are already facing pressure on their finances. A combination of rising prices for energy and consumer goods, coupled with cuts in employee benefits, are adding hundreds of pounds to household costs, charities have warned.
The Bank of England said on Thursday that inflation is expected to rise in the near term, forecasting it to rise “slightly above 4%” in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Liberal Democrats, who commissioned the analysis, said the results exposed the government’s launch of a “tax cut on NHS heroes and nursing homes” that still risk their lives at the forefront of the pandemic .
A nurse or midwife with an average salary will see their tax bill increase by £ 310, care home workers will have to pay at least £ 140 more and ambulance staff will see an increase of £ 420. On average, 1.4 million NHS workers will each have to pay an additional £ 315 per year, according to the Commons Library report.
Liberal Democrats health spokeswoman MP Munira Wilson said: ‘Boris Johnson’s broken manifesto promise equates to a £ 900million tax cut on our heroes in the NHS and homes of care.
“It is the nurses, ambulance drivers and caregivers who have worked day in and day out to save lives on the front lines of the pandemic. Now their payoff is a tax bill of several hundred pounds at a time when incomes are squeezed by the cost of living crisis.
“The Conservatives must rethink this unfair tax hike, which will have a disproportionate impact on low and middle incomes. Their plans risk worsening the staff crisis in our care homes instead of fixing it. “
Christina McAnea, general secretary of Unison, Britain’s largest healthcare union, said punishing key workers with rising national insurance was a terrible way of treating those “who have done so much to take care of people. and save lives over the past 18 months ”.
“Inflation has bypassed the increase in NHS wages,” she said. “Most of the care workers got nothing at all. The severe buyout of universal credit has not yet taken effect. And those same key workers will pay through the nose when the [national insurance contributions] increase the strokes.
McAnea said the NHS and the social care sector could see thousands quit. “No one could blame the NHS care and staff for leaving the ship for more lucrative and less stressful jobs,” she said. “But the consequences of losing thousands of experienced workers just can’t bear to think about it. “
Responding to the Commons library scan, Royal College of Nursing Board Chair Carol Popplestone said: Upgrade.
“The Prime Minister must come up with a credible plan to make up for years of underinvestment and invest money in the services that patients will rely on for years to come, and the people who provide them. “
A Treasury spokesperson said: ‘The health and social care tax will increase £ 12 billion a year for the NHS and social care. Everyone is invited to contribute, in a fair and progressive way.
“We have supported social workers throughout the pandemic. The lowest paid have benefited from our increase in the National Living Wage, and we are investing half a billion pounds to provide training and support to adult social workers as part of the program announced this month.