Ilford South MP slams 'unjust' national insurance hike

South Ilford MP Sam Tarry hosted a virtual session for constituents with the Shadow Secretary of Sta

Sam Tarry MP has labelled the hike in national insurance contributions "unjust and badly timed". - Credit: Sam Tarry

The MP for Ilford South has condemned the government’s health and social care levy, which passed through Parliament yesterday. 

It will see national insurance contributions rise from 12 per cent to 13.25pc, which Sam Tarry, a Labour MP for Ilford South, said would push many of his constituents further into poverty. 

The government's proposals, which aim to fund £12bn for the NHS and social care, were passed by the House of Commons by 319 votes to 248. 

Prime minister Boris Johnson defended the policy, claiming it was a “broad-based and progressive measure” and that the government was “taking the tough decisions that the country wants to see”.

Speaking in the chamber before the vote, Mr Tarry said: “The double whammy of a national insurance hike and a universal credit cut shows the complete disdain that the government have for the working population. 

“A staggering 2.5million families across the country will be hit by this huge national insurance tax rise as well as the £20-a-week cut to universal credit. 

“In constituencies such as mine, which has people who are among the lowest paid in the country, this devastating news will mean that in many cases, people will be pushed further below the poverty line." 

The tax will be introduced from April 2022 as a rise in national insurance - paid both by employers and workers - before becoming a separate tax on earned income from 2023. 

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Mr Tarry, who voted against the proposals, said: “What am I supposed to say to the people in my constituency  - the public sector workers - who have been hit by wave after wave of pay freezes, and now the government want to hit them again with a national insurance increase?” 

He argued that more progressive measures, such as wealth taxes, should be considered, but that the Conservative Party “simply cannot countenance taxing their own”. 

He added: “The plan is unjust and badly timed, and it will not fix the social care crisis.”