Branch Secretary :

Tax raid on young and low-paid workers

Unite calls for wealth tax and higher care worker wages as PM announces manifesto-busting NI tax to fund health and social care


Unite has slammed the government for failing to adequately fill a gaping hole in social care funding as prime minister Boris Johnson today (September 7) announced a National Insurance hike which will unfairly hit working people hardest.



Johnson unveiled the plans in the Commons on Tuesday afternoon, which will entail a 1.25 per cent increase on National Insurance contributions, levied both on employers and employees, including those still working beyond state pension age by 2023.


Breaks manifesto promises


The hike will go into effect in April 2022, and from April 2023, the National Insurance increase will be rebranded as a ‘health and social care levy’, which will appear as a separate line on payroll slips.


Johnson said the new tax increase, which breaks Conservative manifesto promises, will raise £36bn within the next three years. But critics highlighted that the vast majority will go the NHS initially, despite the announcement being billed as a way to “fix the long-term problems of health and social care”. Until 2024, social care will receive only £5.3bn of the total raised, with the rest pumped into cutting NHS waiting lists.

‘Not a plan to fix crisis in social care’


Unite and others decried the unfairness of the new tax, which will see landlords earning rental income not having to bear any burden. Wealthy investors will also hardly have to contribute, after the government announced a modest 1.25 per cent tax on dividends. Younger workers will be hardest hit by the tax increase.


Unite said that that any solution to social care needed to go ‘hand-in-hand’ with a massive cash injection for the NHS, which has more than five million patients waiting for treatments such as cancer and hip replacements.


Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: The regeneration of social care needs to have a much wider financial base than the focus on National Insurance which falls on those of working age, particularly the young, and is not paid by the retired who may own a house and have other savings.


Taxation policy must be seen to be fair for all, otherwise confidence in the public finances is eroded.


A ‘wealth’ tax should be seriously considered as part of a broad-based approach to underpin the reform of social care, which also needs to see that those working in the sector are paid the equivalent of their NHS counterparts. 


Low pay for social care jobs is a scandal that has been kicked down the road for far too long. 


Unite will fight


The issue of NHS funding also needs to be tackled – the funding crisis in the health service is also bedevilled by vacancies estimated at 100,000 and waiting lists that will take years to clear. The situation is not helped by the continuing pace of privatisation in the NHS which is costly and ineffective, and only lines the pockets of the profit-hungry private healthcare companies.


Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards. 


Branch members are active in Care & Support Workers Organise which produced this statement:





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