Bridget Phillipson Labour Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South
The Government has announced a new National Insurance tax hike that will hit workers and their jobs.
The new tax isn’t fair, and it won’t work. That’s why Labour voted against it. Hardworking families and businesses are shouldering the vast majority of the new burden, paying no less than 20 times the amount raised by a promised extra levy on dividends.
The Tories want younger working people – already faced with crippling costs from our failed housing market and rising prices, to work harder to cover the care costs of wealthier people, many of whom won’t be paying extra themselves.
Secondly, their scheme doesn’t work. It won’t fix either the NHS or the social care crisis. More money but no plan is never the answer.
Let’s not forget the government weakened the NHS and social care for a decade before the pandemic.
NHS waiting lists spiralled. Crucial targets on cancer, A&E and mental health were already being missed.
Even under the new plan, many people will still have to sell their homes to afford the cost of care.
And that’s before living costs – which of course people in care don’t stop facing. £86,000 might not be a lot to the Prime Minister. But it’s more than the price of thousands of homes here in Sunderland.
Worse, the latest figures show the economic recovery is stalling and prices are up sharply.
But the Chancellor has put up council tax, as well as freezing income tax, and he’s taking £20 a week from everyone on Universal Credit this autumn.
In Houghton and Sunderland South half of all families with children are on Universal Credit.
The hike in National Insurance means that people are going to need higher wages to make ends meet. But when jobs are more expensive to sustain and create it risks people being left jobless. The Federation of Small Businesses reckons it could mean 50,000 people left out of work.
Now is not the time to be taking demand out of our economy. Instead we need to be bringing the jobs and work of the future to Britain.
Labour’s plan is to buy, make, and sell more here in Britain- to get our economy firing on all cylinders.
Instead, the Tories choose to squeeze the incomes of working families. It’s bad news for Britain’s families and bad news for Britain’s economy.