The National Insurance hike: What, How and Why

by Madaline Dunn

In another financial blow to many, the government has announced that the National Insurance (NI) hike will, in fact, go ahead. This comes at the same time as energy bills skyrocket, food costs rise, and interest increases, leaving many concerned about what it will mean for them and the general cost of living. 

At The Salary Calculator, we’ll help you get to grips with the upcoming changes and explain:

  • What the National Insurance hike is all about 
  • How much more money you can expect to pay
  • Who will be affected most by the hike

The National Insurance hike 

On 28 January, Chris Philip, Minister for Technology and the Digital Economy, announced that the planned National Insurance increase would indeed go ahead in April, much to the dismay of millions in the UK. 

This move goes against the Conservative Party’s 2019 election manifesto, and according to the government, is expected to raise £36 billion over a three year period. The hike is reportedly in response to Covid and the pressure it placed on the NHS. A portion will also be dedicated to reforming the social care system.

Defending the hike, in The Sunday Times, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak called the policy “progressive,” adding: “We must clear the Covid backlogs, with our plan for health and social care – and now is the time to stick to that plan. We must go ahead with the health and care levy. It is the right plan.”

How much money you can expect to pay

The changes to National Insurance will come into effect on 6 April 2022 and according to reports for many across the country this hike is the equivalent of a 10% increase in deductions from pay packets. The rate of dividend tax will also increase by 1.25 percentage points. 

Those earning £9,880 a year, or £823 a month, won’t have to pay National Insurance, but those earning £12,875  or more will see their NIC increase. For example, basic-rate taxpayers will see their NIC jump from 12% to 13.25%. So, those earning £24,100, will say goodbye to an additional £180 a year which translates to £3.46 a week, or £13.84 a month. Meanwhile, those on £50,000 will pay £505 more a year. 

Those who are higher-rate taxpayers and on a salary of £67,100 will pay £715. While those on £100,000, will pay £1,130 more.

Who will be affected the most by the hike?

Although the tax will be progressive, with those who earn more paying more, those on £100,000 a year will pay just 7% of their overall salary in NIC, which is the same proportion as those on just £20,000 a year. Moreover, the NI hike means that someone on £50,000 a year will pay £5,086, around 10% of their gross salary.

With so many families already struggling to make ends meet, many argue that the NI increase should be postponed. Commenting on this, Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Now is not the time for a tax hike: the National Insurance rise in April needs to be shelved.”

This is something echoed by Laura Suter, head of personal finance at investment platform AJ Bell, who said poorer families will be hit the hardest: “For a much bigger proportion of low-income families, monthly costs go on things like energy bills and food bills, who tend not to have the same ability to cut back as wealthier families.”

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 Economy No Comments

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