My God, this new Labour policy is so different and unexpected, isn’t it?

Labour is considering plans to raise National Insurance contributions to fund a massive spending increase in the NHS, it has been claimed.

The Shadow Cabinet is looking at adding 1 per cent to National Insurance bills for both employees and employers which would be ring-fenced for health spending.

We’re running out of other peoples’ money so let’s raise tax on income by 2%!

Blinder! It’s just so unexpected, isn’t it?

36 comments on “My God, this new Labour policy is so different and unexpected, isn’t it?

  1. They have no idea and no answers.

    Never, never look to see if the problem isn’t money. And in the case of the NHS, the real problems are not problems of lack of money.

  2. This is what so grimly fascinates about Labour: a policy doesn’t work, but they stick with it, reheating it every so often, because they think it should work or is the right thing to do.

  3. I don’t think this is even aimed at the general public. It’s aimed at the NHS unions.

  4. @ Rob. NI is not ring-fenced, it disappears into the general exchequer, from whence it supposedly becomes a contribution towards social spending. Everyone knows that.

  5. Rob, NI is a tax its just called national insurance. It looks like a tax, squawks like a tax, hurts like a tax and is treated like a tax by the tax collecting body.

  6. Martin/KRL re Rob’s comment – I’ll lay you odds of 5000 to 1 that he was being sarcastic.

  7. I’d wish it were true, but Labour biting the hand that strokes it?

    Labour promising more of other people’s money to one of its more-or-less tame voting blocks is “biting the hand”?

  8. They tried it ten or so years ago. Even the 1% is the same. Achieved f*ck all then.

    It’s that definition of stupidity again, doing the same thing over and over.

  9. SE – the original comment was obscure. I took “aimed at the unions” to mean the NI increases its members would have to pay, but as you point out that’s hardly punitive when a cost of living increase would soon – immediately? – negate that.

  10. Peter – I believe this is designed to make sure the NHS unions are on board and motivated for EdStock 2015.

    Can’t imagine Labour’s polls have been telling them the swing voter on the Clapham Omnibus is demanding higher taxes and more NHS spending.

    This is the famous 35% strategy in action. Next up: more goodies for people on benefits.

  11. @Steve

    Way to go.

    Same thing here. Latest argument for Catalan independence:

    ‘People on benefits will ‘earn’ (sic) more when we are independent’

    Bottomless pit, but, hey ho, got get them on board somehow!

  12. “Rob, NI is a tax its just called national insurance. It looks like a tax, squawks like a tax, hurts like a tax and is treated like a tax by the tax collecting body”: people keep saying that but it’s manifestly untrue. It buys you your right to a State Retirement Pension. No tax you pay buys you any right to anything.

  13. dearieme: voluntary Class 3 contributions (currently £700 a year) will get you a full state pension. Paying well over £700 a year in Class 1 or 4 gets you nothing more. If you’re paying to not get anything, it sounds like your description of a tax 🙂

  14. bilbaoboy – I believe the Yes campaign in the Scottish referendum are even more ambitious.

    Voting Yes would mean “more and better jobs”, a higher minimum wage, “take low earners out of poverty”, “fairer” welfare, better health, better pensions, and lower taxes!

    They haven’t said if it will make all women beautiful and all children above average, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

    And with people like the SNP, the Green Party, the Scottish Socialist Party, and Mary Doll from Rab C. Nesbitt on board, how can their grand designs fail?

    A small, mean part of me would love it – looove it, Kevin Keegan style – if they got their wish, as their subsequent head-on collision with reality would be hilarious to watch.

  15. Please, please, please can Scotland vote yes and fuck off.

    See also: can hardcore feminists get a man-free city and go and live there, hardline Islamists remove themselves from English law and live under sharia, and Paul B get very sick and find his private health doesn’t cover a three month stay in hospital.

  16. Steve

    There must be one of them writing the bumpf for all of them.

    The Basque Country and Cataluña are up there with the Scots.

    I believe my penis will grow in length and girth too and that everybody will win the pools every week and you can bet I’ll be voting for that!

  17. Speaking as someone exempted from National Insurance because I am over 65, may I say that the suggestion is bloody stupid? It would be better for the economy to increase the rate of income tax that applied to all income, both earned and unearned and reduce NI levies which create disincentives to work and for employers to hire people. [There is a sound economic case for increasing taxes on wrinklies in order to reduce the tax on other workers. Why do i pay a lower rate of tax on my earnings than someone a few years younger?]
    Neither Frank Field nor Ed Balls can be quite that stupid – they just think that the rest of us are!

  18. More of the same, please! Cos what “hard working Brits” want to hear right now is “vote for us and we’ll raise your taxes 1% so we can spunk more money up the envy of the world”

  19. Interested – they don’t seem to have reaslised yet, a lot of English people will be voting in this referendum. Have to wonder if the ‘yes’ vote is being driven mainly by English people living or staying in Scotland temporarily. Wouldn’t that be fun!

  20. “if they got their wish, as their subsequent head-on collision with reality would be hilarious to watch.” – it will take a while, with all that oil in the ground their govt can pledge if for loans for years to come.

    She went to Glasgow uni, still has many jockess friends and on the basis of my small sample they do seem to be infected with a feeling of entitlement.

  21. How much would this raise per annum, given that it will be a ‘massive’ increase in NHS spending? It would have to raise £5bn a year just to twitch the needle.

  22. Pellinor: how many years do you have to pay those Class 3 contributions to qualify? That seems like a bargain although I’ve got about 25 years to go before I’ll be eligible for a State pension and I’m by no means convinced such things will exist by the 2030’s

  23. “Paying well over £700 a year in Class 1 or 4 gets you nothing more.” Very possibly but a silly point. The great majority of people who get an SRP get it on the basis of their Class 1 contributions.

  24. The people are frivolous with their money and obviously dont know how to handle it wisely. Confiscate all their earnings and creat a ‘national wage’. Devised of course by the senior political class.
    That would solve everything. And is obviously coming anyway.

  25. @Martin yes, probably something in that. I hope the miserable, whining, entitled, leftist element of the Scots gets what they wish for, and the Adam Smithite branch of the family, which pound for pound has given more to the world than any other nation, comes to live in a newly freer England, and flourishes, before going back (if they wish) north of the border like conquering lairds a few years later, when the price of castles and Edinburgh town houses has collapsed.

  26. I hope the miserable, whining, entitled, leftist element of the Scots gets what they wish for,

    Although I can see your point, as a resident of “North Britain”, I strongly hope that they don’t get it.

    Although I would have to note that there are miserable, whining, entitled leftist elements on both sides of the referendum debacle – just look at Darling’s performance pre his parliamentary career and compare Scottish Labour (who are fundamentally utterly-pre-new) to the non-independence policies of the SNP. Who do have a vaguely social democrat wing.

    and the Adam Smithite branch of the family, which pound for pound has given more to the world than any other nation, comes to live in a newly freer England,

    Yeh, hope it’s not necessary. Cost of living increases would be an utter bummer in the short term. That’s comparing “decent bit of Central Scotland” with “anywhere half-decent” in England and suitably near customers.

  27. I would vote for independence for the West of Scotland, leaving the rest of us in the East to prosper 🙂

  28. Bloke in Costa Rica: Class 3 just gets you your NI stamp, the same as any other NI. So 30 years gets you full pension. At current rates that’s what, £20k investment to get £5k a year income.

    dearieme: “The great majority of people who get an SRP get it on the basis of their Class 1 contributions” Yes, exactly: that just goes to prove the point that the payment is unrelated to the benefit.

    You can get the same state pension by paying £700 in Class 3, or £20,000 in Class 1, or £10,000 in Class 4, or £nil in Class 1 because you’re over the lower limit (so you get the stamp) but under the threshold (so you don’t pay any NI).

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