With inflation and energy prices soaring, interest rates on the up and many people and businesses saddled with debt, we asked small business owners around the UK whether the Government should push back the National Insurance increase due to start in April. A selection of responses are below.
15 responses from the Newspage community
"The timing of this major increase in National Insurance couldn't be worse, adding to inflation and the spiralling cost of living crisis. Both employers and employees will get hit, with the total adding up to billions. Employers will see increased costs that may need to be passed on, while employees will take home less pay. How much more pain can the small businesses in this country take?"
"The government needs to exercise extreme caution before burdening UK employees and businesses with yet another tax rise. Given the many challenges the UK economy is facing at the moment with high inflation, soaring energy costs, new customs measures commencing and the Omicron variant, delaying the NI increase would be prudent. Otherwise, the government risks hampering the UK's somewhat fragile recovery."
"Households and small businesses alike are struggling more than ever right now and the impending national insurance rise will put an impossible pressure on them. With rising energy prices and interest rates, the National Insurance increase is the last thing this country needs right now. I think it should be delayed to assess how people are coping or scrapped altogether. The government may well find the economy is weaker than it thinks."
"The debt saddled public are at risk of being swept away by an avalanche of soaring inflation, energy costs and interest rate rises, and the National Insurance hike will only add to the pain. The average salary in the UK is around £30,000 and is already being stretched to the maximum. Ironically, MP salaries are set to rise from £82,000 to £84,000 on the same day as the NI increase. You couldn't make it up."
"The government shouldn't push the NI rise back; they should scrap it altogether. We are suffering one of the worst squeezes in living standards in the past 40 years, which will add jet fuel to the fire. The wealth of the UK's billionaires has soared by more than a fifth, yet we're asking to make the ordinary worker poorer? Not to mention the amount of tax lost in Britain through non-payment, avoidance and fraud, which has increased to £35bn, according to official figures from HMRC. How about tackling wealth inequality and closing tax loopholes before we start shafting the people who create the wealth that is then siphoned out of the country. Workers of the world, unite."
"With the cost of living soaring, April's National Insurance rise will slam the brakes on an economy already struggling to bounce back. What would be much fairer in my view is a windfall tax on North Sea Gas producers. They're clearly profiteering from the pandemic, while people can't afford to turn the heating on. They should be forced to give some of those excess profits back."
"This increase could well be the straw that breaks the camel's back for many small business owners. Inflation, rate rises and the pressures of paying for the Covid lifelines are chipping away at already stretched budgets leaving the SME community on the brink. Pushing this back may not solve all the problems but at least it offers a chance for people to steady the ship ahead of the next storm."
"When the increase to National Insurance was announced we were told it was to pay for social care, which most people agree is something that needs to be tackled. However, since then it appears that the money will go into the NHS budget rather than being ringfenced. It's obvious to everyone that the £370 billion that's been spent on the pandemic needs to be recouped at some point and that taxes will go up but with all the other pressures on individuals and business at the moment this seems like a blunt instrument at the wrong time. Many sectors have done very well out of the pandemic so surely they should be asked to contribute more?"
"The NI increase should be stopped by the Government as enthusiastically as the Australian Border Force blocked Djokovic from entering Australia. The UK economy has many challenges ahead and this is not the time for National Insurance to serve up a double fault."
"The Government has been warned by several experts that the forthcoming energy price hikes are going to push even well established businesses into the red and create a serious unemployment issue. With the prospect of many small businesses going to the wall, the Government should be doing anything they can to assist us. They've admitted to a swelling purse from VAT so perhaps now they can help us out in return."
"The government needs to stop using the same brush for all. Some small businesses and support businesses, especially in hospitality, events and accommodation, are just about surviving. These increases could make or break them or make them have to lay off staff. There are some employers that have flourished in the pandemic and can help to support those that are most affected. Stop making it one rule for all and taking the easy option."
"It was a bad idea when it was announced and it's an even worse idea now to hit workers and employers in the pocket just as regular people and businesses are facing a cost of living crisis. Yes, the Government is keen to recoup some of the pandemic costs, but there are still plenty of low hanging fruit, particularly around land and unearned wealth that could be targeted. Instead, this tax increase will put extra pressure on normal households simply trying to get by and employers wanting to create jobs."
"While I understand the need for the NI surcharge, with the predicted massive hike in energy bills, inflation running at its current level and the potential for further interest rate rises, now is not the time to be introducing the NI increase. I think the economy as a whole, and all those households and businesses who are just about managing would appreciate the Government making a tactical decision and delaying the NI increase until October 2022."
"With all costs rising across the board, the Government needs to give the population a financial break. What looks great for raising cash in a spreadsheet at Whitehall is divorced from the reality of the impact this is having on each individual’s finances. This lack of understanding of the common man is compounded by the fact that noone in government will find any of these increases in costs of living a burden on their own bank accounts."
"The timing of this increase beggars belief. Just as we're just getting back on our feet as an economy, we're hit for six with higher taxes."