The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:53 am on 26th April 2018.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow Spokesperson (Education), Shadow Spokesperson (Health and Social Care) 11:53 am, 26th April 2018

It came from a paper from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility. I believe that it is to be a general rise of around 1% across the board, but I will check that out and place a copy of any letter that I send to the noble Lord in the Library.

The point is this: clearly considerations would need to be given if there were to be a rise in national insurance, such as to its impact on employees and employers. Would it be a tax on jobs? Would it be an increase in taxes on working people, when the main beneficiaries of the NHS are older people who do not pay national insurance? Although national insurance contributions are mostly progressive, they become much less so when you hit the upper earnings limit, where employee contributions decrease from 12% to 2% on incomes over £805 per week. I know some noble Lords believe passionately that this is the way forward, and it is an idea worth exploring, but we have to be realistic about some of the drawbacks.