Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley

Doncaster Conservative MP Nick Fletcher backs Prime Minister in 1.25 per cent National Insurance hike to pay for health and social care

Doncaster’s Conservative MP has backed plans to increase National Insurance contributions in order to raise money for the NHS and social care, despite the Prime Minister promising not to in his 2019 election manifesto.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 5:44 am

Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher said plans to increase National Insurance by 1.25 per cent ‘did not sit well’ with him but added there was ‘no other practical solution’.

He added that the move will deal with the NHS backlog and give assurance to people that families won’t lose massive amounts of money due to relatives needing care in their final years.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would raise £36bn for the NHS and social care in the next three years but accepted it broke a manifesto promise.

The tax will begin as a 1.25 per cent increase in NI from April 2022, paid by both workers and employers, which then becomes a separate tax on earned income from 2023 – calculated in the same way as NI and appearing on an employee’s payslip.

The PM said on Tuesday (September 7) that all working adults, including older workers will pay it and the contribution will be ‘legally ring-fenced’ for health and social care costs only.

Labour in response called the measures a ‘sticking plaster’ and it would target young people, supermarket workers and nurses, rather than those with the ‘broadest shoulders’ who ‘should pay more’.

Mr Fletcher said: “Health and social care are two of the most significant challenges of our time, and we all know the enormous pressures that affect the NHS and social care patients. We need to ensure that funding is fit for purpose and meets people’s needs.

“As a Conservative MP, raising taxes does not sit well with me. However, we know the current system is not working. The pandemic has caused an enormous backlog that needs to be addressed immediately.

“Likewise, social care funding is a long-standing issue, and we can no longer afford to kick the can down the road and leave it to the next generation to sort out.

Many will argue that the use of National Insurance was not the ideal way to sort these issues. However, with no other practicable solutions being put on the table, the Government has had to make this tough but necessary decision.

“I will therefore be supporting the Government, so we can deal with the NHS backlog and give families up and down the country reassurances that their loved ones are not at risk of losing everything they have saved because they needed care in the last years of their life.”

People earning £20,000 a year will pay an extra £130 per annum, £30,000 another £255 and those who make £50,000 an extra £505 each year.

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