Thursday, September 23, 2021

NHS Workers Paying the Price

 Boris Johnson’s raised national insurance 1.25% to additionally fund the NHS and social care. 

 12% of the £7.4bn expected to be raised from employees through the tax rise will come from nurses, care home staff and other health and social care workers who will pay an additional £900m in tax, according to the analysis.

The figures do not include those working in the NHS or care who are self-employed, meaning the real impact is likely to be even greater.

Millions of health and care workers are already facing a squeeze on their finances. A combination of rising energy and consumer goods prices, coupled with benefits cuts, are adding hundreds of pounds in costs for households.

Christina McAnea, general secretary of Unison, Britain’s biggest health union, said that punishing key workers with the national insurance rise was a terrible way to treat those “who’ve done so much to care for people and save lives these past 18 months”. “Inflation has bypassed the NHS pay rise,” she said. “Most care employees have had nothing at all. The harsh universal credit snatch has yet to take effect. And these same key workers will be paying through the nose when the [national insurance contributions] increase hits.”

McAnea said the NHS and social care sector could see thousands quit as a result. “No one could blame care and NHS staff for jumping ship for more lucrative, less stressful jobs,” she said. “But the consequences of losing thousands of experienced workers simply do not bear thinking about.”

The Royal College of Nursing council chair, Carol Popplestone, said: “Reaching primarily into the pockets of our hardworking healthcare workers who already feel taken for granted, which could lead more to the exit, is the opposite of levelling up." She added, “The prime minister needs to come up with a credible plan to make up for years of underinvestment and put money into the services patients will rely on for years to come, and the people who provide them.”

National insurance hike to hit NHS and care staff with £900m tax bill | Health | The Guardian

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