National Insurance – a regressive tax by any other name. A closet Marxist explains

It’s not new but we are conned by it every time. When you do something nobody likes you pretend you are doing something everybody likes. Boo to tax increases. Hooray for increases in social and NHS expenditure. Like Income Tax was once a temporary measure to pay for some war or other. That went well.

“MPs will be asked today to approve the biggest personal tax rise in two decades to pay for a £12 billion-a-year package for the NHS and social care reform.” says The Times today. Whether the writer actually believes this Government propaganda or whether Rupert Murdoch has sent the Editor a message who knows? The truth is that National Insurance goes to the Treasury like every other tax. It will be spent on Trident as much as on Healthcare (etc.) There’s only one pot. And many eager to dip their fingers in it. The tax is regressive – something else that Tories like.

There are two things wrong with the descriptor “National Insurance”

1) It isn’t National

2) It isn’t Insurance

National taxes affect everyone. In theory anyway. Most of us pay Income Tax, VAT, excise duty…. A lot of us don’t pay NI. Me, as a non-working pensioner, for one.

Insurance is when there is a direct link from a premium to a benefit. NI is no longer that, if it ever was. NI is a payroll tax. Not really a stealth tax , though not far away. And certainly not insurance.

When Margaret Thatcher introduced her “Community Charge” we all saw it for what it was – a regressive Poll Tax. Tories don’t like progressive taxation (like income tax) so they try for a tax which can be sold as equally affecting all – VAT for example, and National Insurance. Even the uber Free Market Adam Smith Institute said that the Government is asking “ poorer workers to bail out millionaire property owners”

Natural Justice would lead us in another direction to “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” for example. Tories won’t like that , not least because Karl Marx said it. Seems good to me – perhaps I’m a closet Marxist after all !

One thought on “National Insurance – a regressive tax by any other name. A closet Marxist explains

  1. No need to hide in the closet Paddy. We Marxists need to come out and fight for social justice. I left the UK during Thatcher-era because I felt Britain would never give its people the social justice they deserve. Despite its history, Spain and some other European countries are far more equitable societies than Britain could or would try to become.
    Since that time I have been proved right. Poverty and deprivation are everywhere in Britain. It will only get worse with regressive taxes and low to starvation social benefits.
    The problem is however there exists an electoral system that favours the Tories and the better off in society. Until that changes nothing will change. They will continue plundering and enriching themselves at the expense of the poorest. It’s far worse than in Thatchers time. Blair did very little to change it. Brown didn’t get the chance. Corbyn was simply inadequate.
    The wealthiest in society pay less tax than the poorest. Hiding their wealth in the darkest reaches of the planet.
    The truth is people requiring social care are still going to have to sell their properties to pay for their costs. Pensions will be sized and the hapless dementia sick victims are given a tiny allowance for “luxuries”.
    My best plan is don’t get too old. Enjoy every day until you can no longer.


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