By Tom Winnifrith | Friday 3 September 2021
In their 2019 manifesto, the Tories said they would not hike Income Tax or National Insurance. Today we learn that an NI hike of 1-1.25% is planned to help shorten NHS waiting lists and to pay for care for the elderly. So the Tories lied. But it is worse than that. What is proposed is manifestly unjust, it is the transfer of wealth from those without to those with it.
That NHS waiting lists have shot up is down to doctors refusing to see the public in person and the measures taken to “save the NHS” from a plague with a 99.97% survival rate. And most of those measures were designed to protect those most likely to die who were old folks. The average age of a covid death is 83, that is to say longer than UK life expectancy.
So all the measures taken were largely to help the old with their safe triple-locked pensions and wealth accumulated through years of house price inflation. Those gaining were the generation who got free university tuition and even grants, not loans. Those losing their jobs, having their university lives wrecked by the measures there to protect the old were the young, very few of whom had bodies that would succumb to covid.
Now it is the young, those in work and those who will be in work who will have to, via higher payroll taxes, suffer the burden. These include the young folks who cannot afford to buy their way into the property market or who have to borrow vast sums to clamber on, something that may well come back to hurt them later on. This is monstrously unfair.
I write as someone nearing the end of my career and whose wife owns two very large houses. Why the hell should younger folks have to pay for my end of life care? My father needed constant care in his last two years but that was care which, rightly, since he had cash, he paid for. It means there was a bit less for what he termed the nest of vipers, his six children, to inherit but so what? Surely it is right that we “paid” for his care rather than forcing others, set to inherit less capital and mostly with lower wages, to pay via higher NI?
This is a crude calculation by the Tories. Older folks are more likely to vote than younger folk and when they do vote they are more likely than the young to vote Tory. This is about stealing from those who have suffered to transfer wealth to those who are already privileged but who are likely to vote Tory. And, as for NHS waiting lists, is chucking even more cash at an organization which pisses away so much on overpaid GPs who refuse to see patients or on £75,000-a-year diversity coordinators, going to offset the results of 18 months of “protecting the NHS” blunders?
My wife and I will be net winners from these proposals but that cannot blind us as to how utterly wrong they are. They are another reason why nobody of conscience can vote Tory next time.
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