The real cost of the Tory tax hike

September 24, 2021 10:39 AM

Last week Lib Dem MPs and I spoke out against the Conservative Government who, including Guildford and Cranleigh's own MP, voted through a 1.25% National Insurance tax hike for individuals and employers. Today I want to share an update to this sorry saga with you.

New research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that nurses, care home staff and other health and social care workers will pay over £900 million more in tax as a result.

This means that the NHS and care staff who have been on the frontline of the pandemic will pay a whopping 12% of the £7.4 billion expected to be raised from employees through the tax rise. The number may be even higher too as the estimate doesn't include those working in health and social care who are self-employed. The research also shows the real terms cost of the tax hike faced by those working in the NHS and social care. A nurse or midwife on an average salary will see their tax bill rise by £310 next year, care home workers will pay around £140 more and ambulance staff will see a £420 increase. The average NHS worker across all staff groups will pay £315 more a year.

Nurse in PPE

I don't know about you, but at a time when nurses, ambulance drivers and care workers have worked day in day out to save lives on the frontline of the pandemic and yet, in the case of NHS staff have only received a trifling 3% pay rise, I find this particularly distasteful. Of course, this is happening at the same time as incomes are being squeezed by the cost of living crisis.

The Liberal Democrats have been clear in warning that the government's plans will do nothing to fill the estimated 120,000 vacancies for social care workers, and will actually make them worse by hammering those working in the sector with a tax rise. We are calling for measures to give care staff the pay and recognition they deserve, as well as an increase to the carer's allowance to £1,000 a year.

Of course, this is the real cost of just one sector. Across Guildford, Cranleigh and the country as a whole tens of thousands of lower-income workers will be hit by the Government's unfair tax hike.

You can read more on this story in the Guardian here.

Zöe Franklin, 24th September 2021