Secondary Class 1 contributions: apprentices under 25

Part of Living Wage (Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 3rd February 2015.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1:45 pm, 3rd February 2015

There is a reference to employers’ national insurance contribution. The tax summaries state how much is paid in income tax and in employees’ national insurance contributions. There is also a line in the summaries saying, “Your employer has paid this much employers’ national insurance contribution.” Returning to the issue directly before us in relation to apprenticeships, there is an argument—I think a lot of economists would make this point—that ultimately the burden of employers’ national insurance contributions is taken up by the employee, as they receive less in salary as a consequence. There is also a case that it may be a disincentive for employers to take on employees.

We believe this sensible and well-targeted measure will encourage businesses to take on apprentices. We have not focused particularly on the limit, but there is provision to prevent manipulation such as the classifying of premier league footballers as apprentices, which might result in a 24-year-old footballer paying no NICs on a salary of £1 million. We have sought to address such abuses.