[Sir Michael Lord in the Chair] — Clause 1 — Primary Class 1 contributions
Orders of the Day — National Insurance Contributions Bill
Dr Evan Harris (Oxford West and Abingdon, Liberal Democrat)
I direct Mr. Hendrick to page 46 of the Library research paper on the Bill, which shows the curve of the percentage of income paid in national insurance contributions according to gross income. Under the Government's plans, those earning £600 a week will pay 9 per cent. and those on £2,000 will pay around half that. That is no one's definition of progressive. People on around that earnings limit should make a significantly increased contribution to public services.
Labour Members may be embarrassed that they do not have as progressive a policy as they might and will end up supporting a tax on businesses in their communities in preference to asking the better-off to pay more. That is hard to defend. We have clearly stated our position. A progressive form of taxation through asking the better-off to contribute is far preferable to asking business to do it, as are the Government.