Public sector pay: NHS and social care workers to face £900m NI tax rise

The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of giving with one hand and snatching away with the other on public sector pay, given the national insurance tax hike and worsening cost of living crisis.

Previous analysis by the House of Commons Library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats estimates that those working in health and social care will be faced with a tax hit of over £900 million due to the Conservative government’s manifesto-breaking hike to national insurance.

The research shows a nurse or midwife on an average salary would see their tax bill rise by £310 next year, care home workers would pay around £140 more and ambulance staff would face a £420 increase. The average NHS worker across all staff groups will pay £315 more a year.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Our public sector workers have been on the frontline of the pandemic and deserve a fair pay rise. But under Conservative plans their incomes will be squeezed by tax hikes and the cost of living crisis, which risks wiping out this pay rise before it even reaches people’s pockets.

Our NHS and care home heroes face a £900 million tax grab due to Boris Johnson’s broken promise on raising national insurance.

It shows that on public sector pay, the Conservatives are giving with one hand and snatching away with the other.

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  • A House of Commons Briefing Paper on Public Sector Pay (Number CBP 8037), was published as long ago as 10 March, 2021. Whether this was ‘commissioned by the Liberal Democrats’ I do not know, but here is a link for those who wish for detail :

    Public sector pay – UK Parliament › CBP…PDF 10 Mar 2021.

    It records, “in the Budget of 2010, the (Lib Dem/Con) Coalition Government announced a two-year pay freeze from 2011/12”. In the Autumn Statement of 2011 when the “pay freeze ended in 2013, it was replaced by a 1% cap on average public sector pay awards for two years”…… later extended to four years.

    It applied to the NHS, local government. teachers, and carers, and it undermined service standards provided for the general public.

    I am glad Ms Jardine’s has reversed previous policy (as applied in Government). One must reflect, however, previous policy seismically undermined Liberal Democrat support in the 2015 election…. and beyond. It was a major factor in the loss of the constituency where I Iived which had been Liberal/Lib Dem for over fifty years from 1965.

    This former major element of support was built up painstakingly nationally over the previous twenty years from the 1990’s. It remains to be seen whether a reversal of the policy applied in government will be believed or even appreciated sufficiently to persuade it to return.

    All politicians should reflect that Trust is hard to gain, but so easy to lose.

  • I guess the question is, do or don’t we want a decent society in which the Government raises enough revenue through taxation to pay for all the services we want?

    I doubt that anyone wants personally to pay more tax, but if the LibDem response to any tax rise is to complain about it and then highlight how terrible it is that some group or other will be paying more tax, then ultimately that just plays into the hands of small-Government/lowest-possible-tax campaigners on the right and makes it harder to win public opinion round to having tax rates that are sufficient to provide good services.

  • Kyle Harrison 26th Oct '21 - 11:11am

    If you want more money for public services this is what happens. The idea that “the rich” can pay for loads more spending has always been largely nonsense. If you want serious amounts of money then you need to tax the broad base of society more.

    The Lib Dems, I have a feeling, are really going to go in on their strategy of attacking the Tories from the economic right (just like they shifted left to attack new Labour). To be fair, it could work: plenty of affluent suburbia that the Lib Dems could aim for. Makes it much more difficult to ever enter a pact with Labour though (although I think that’s fantasy stuff anyway).

  • We do need to be consistent in critiquing government policy if we are to avoid the trap that Labour falls into of criticising policies that they themselves have previously advanced or advocated.
    As a party, we need a comprehensive taxation policy across the economy that forms the basis for opposition to government policy. I would suggest that policy be laegely based on the Mirrlees Teview

  • Russell Simpson 26th Oct '21 - 8:24pm

    Libdems used to be in favour of increasing tax to fund public services! Just saying

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