Wednesday 8 September 2021 7:49 pm

Government wins vote on National Insurance hike

The Prime Minister has won a vote to raise National Insurance for workers and employers to fund NHS and social care costs.

The government won the vote by 319 to 248 votes after Boris Johnson said the 1.25 percentage point increase would raise £12bn a year.

Opposition MPs criticised the government for breaking a manifesto pledge and said many homeowners would be forced to sell their homes. 

People will no longer pay more than £86,000 in care costs – minus food and accommodation – over their lifetime, from October 2023.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the so-called “health and social care levy” was unfair on working people.

Starmer said: “Under his plan, a landlord renting out dozens of properties won’t pay a penny more, while their tenants in work will face tax rises of hundreds of pounds a year.”

Conservative MPs to speak against the policy included Jake Berry, chair of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs. 

“It is fundamentally un-Conservative and in the long term it will massively damage the prospects of our party because we will never outbid the Labour party in the arms race of an NHS tax and that’s why I don’t think this is the right way to do it,” Berry said.

However, Steve Barclay, chief secretary to the Treasury, said the pandemic had placed “unprecedented pressure” on the NHS with record high waiting lists for surgery or treatment in England.

“The social care system will finally be reformed ending unpredictable and catastrophic care costs faced by thousands and making the system fairer for all,” he said.