National Insurance rise to pay for social care persecutes the youngest and poorest.

So Boris Johnson is proposing a National Insurance rise to pay for social care. Now as a Socialist I’m certainly not against higher taxation to cover necessary costs, things any of us may rely on in the future, but who is actually paying here and more importantly, who isn’t?

The Tories plan to raise National Insurance to pay for the increasing cost of social care according to numerous reports and to do so they’d be breaking not one but two manifesto commitments they made going into the 2019 General Election. Not only were National Insurance increases ruled out, but they clearly stated they had a plan for social care at the time, a plan Boris Johnson had refused to set out then, has refused to set out for 2 years now – the utter waste of oxygen stood on the steps of Downing Street after election and repeated the lie that he’d fix social care and probably pissed himself laughing after the door closed – and with this latest announcement it would seem that this social care plan really was a pack of lies from a career liar.

So they’ve broken a pledge or two, big deal you might think, I’m busy, I haven’t time to be worried about you and your leftish whinging because social care needs paying for after all and you’d be right, it does need paying however the fact the Tories will say stuff to get elected and then not mean it should be a concern to us all, that manifesto pledges are not binding is a big problem in the UK, because it betrays trust, wrecks faith in our electoral system, is acting in bad faith on the part of those doing it, and ends up promoting apathy amongst voters which is bad for democracy. But y’know, you’re busy! They’re busy too, rigging the system against you and there’s more coming down the road! But I’m not going to get into those particular issues here and now, the issue I’m going to focus on here is social care needs to be paid for and this is how the Tories are thinking of finally doing it, unless of course they don’t and just use the money for something else, that trust issue, it doesn’t just go away. Now many of you will be familiar with the fact that National Insurance Contributions show up on your payslip along with income tax and these are both deductions you pay anyway. Many of you might not begrudge paying a bit more and yes, I would agree with that, however the choice to charge more national insurance and not more income tax is a relevant one because of who it actually affects.

National Insurance is paid by businesses, the self-employed and employees who earn over £9,568 a year and it goes to pay for certain social security benefits like state pensions, statutory sick pay, maternity leave and gives you an entitlement to additional unemployment benefits should you need them, its supposedly an insurance policy against ill health and falling on hard times, hence the name, but it is basically just another tax. Now £9,568 a year is not a lot, you start paying National Insurance when you could be earning as little as £797 a month, a really low wage and that matters if you’re going to be asked to pay more of it to pay for Social Care, all while your energy bills are rising, your rent is rising, food prices are rising if you can actually find what you want these days and now they want to hit you with this too! They really do hate the poor. If you’re self employed it’s even worse, you start paying National Insurance on profits of just £6,515 a year – £540 a month! Now Income Tax on the other hand doesn’t start to be charged until you’re earning £12,570 a year, so you can see this National Insurance hike would be targeting the very poorest paid people in the country, hardly the sort of people you imagine that should be paying extra for social care in a fair society, they’re scraping just to get by and finding it harder by the day. Now because it goes to pay for your state pension, when you reach state pension age you stop paying it, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve retired – you may keep working, but you still stop paying National Insurance at age 66. So whereas the poorest paid and this typically is the youngest workers on the crappiest levels of minimum wage anyway, would face increasing national insurance costs to pay for social care, the oldest workers, those aged over 66, wouldn’t pay it at all and would not contribute whatsoever to the increased cost of social care and that’s true regardless of how much they earn. The other ridiculous thing about National Insurance is if you earn more than £827 a week, over £43,000 a year, the level of National Insurance drops from 12% of earnings to just 2%, so if you’re on a very nice wage above this level, are pretty well off all things considered, the less of a percentage of your earnings are taken through National Insurance. So far its looking like a bit of a scumbag move isn’t it! Well I’m not finished yet!

National Insurance is also only charged on earnings. If you rent property out, you don’t get charged it on the money you make, if you own a business and get an annuity from that, you don’t get charged for the money you make, if you’re rich and have lots of lovely investments bringing in more cash for you, you don’t get charged for the money you make. All in all, National Insurance itself, is actually a very unfair tax because of who it targets and how they are targeted.

Therefore, to raise this particular tax to pay for social care is a political move by utter bottom feeders, its seriously regressive as it compounds that inbuilt, inherent unfairness. It discriminates against the poorest paid, it discriminates against the youngest workers, it is an attack on the young because it is not a proportionate tax across all ages in society.

Raising the needed revenue with an increase on income tax would be far fairer across all demographics, all revenue streams, would be based on actual income and not discriminate against you based on age and earnings. It would be charged against older, better paid workers more rather than attacking the poorest paid and the youngest in work, but the point needs to be hammered home again and again that the most unfair aspect of our society when it comes to income and wealth is that the very wealthiest in society – the UK billionaires added £100bn to their wealth last year, more wealth than they could possibly spend in their lifetimes and that huge sum, let’s say it again, is in addition to what they already had. No matter what they spend therefore, they never even dent their capital. They can therefore afford to pay more than anyone else without any impact to their daily lives whatsoever and yet a wealth tax to address the rampant inequality in this country never gets addressed by this government. The playing field needs to be levelled, but with a government more intent on taxing the youngest and poorest workers into poverty and an opposition party leadership, incredulously still calling itself Labour, spending the entire weekend hand-wringing over whether to oppose this blatant attack on them – newsflash Starmer, you mug, its bloody obvious! What the hell took you so long? What chance is there of that?

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Diktat from Downing Street kept schools open as the pandemic surged according to new TES Report.

The TES, a weekly educational publication has broken a story this week, courtesy of the excellent Amy Gibbons and based on a scathing new report from the Institute for Government, that Private Pike himself, Gavin Williamson, the fireplace salesman put in charge of the Department of Education, by the feral idiots running the country was actually not involved in any decision making where it came to school shutdowns. Could he have possibly been underqualified by any chance! As it happens, it would appear not to be that straightforward. Despite being his opportunity to take a lead and shine it appears that for whatever reason, all decision making on education was coming from Downing Street instead. The decision to finally shut schools in March of last year was not taken by Williamson. The minister for education was not involved. The decision to send primary school kids back before the summer holidays, despite nobody in education believing it possible under the circumstances, despite Unions and school leaders speaking out, saying young children like this could not be expected to social distance, to send them back at that point, all were overruled as Downing Street demanded they return anyway.

Every time I read or hear stuff like this I’m always reminded, particularly as a science graduate myself that Bozo and Co keep saying ‘we’re following the science’, that their tame scientists, prepared to sacrifice reputation by standing alongside the out of his depth oaf at those damned daily announcements and legitimising his bullshit, that has proven so lethal to so many and expose’s like this remind us that actually, they never bloody have. Everything has been about Johnson’s whims. Remember the words he’s spoken. Let the bodies pile up, Over 80’s should be more concerned about the economy. He is utterly depraved.

Even worse is the fact that after the shit hit the fan during that first lockdown and we have to remember, for all the control freakery the Institute of Government implies here, the Tories were watching COVID roll around the world towards us, see the devastation to countries across Asia and Europe, before us and until the last minute, didn’t take it seriously, took no action, yet going forwards, that trend of taking no action continued. Forward planning in case things flared up again you would think would be the order of the day and although we know they kept screwing up, resulting in second and third lockdowns in November and February of this year, the fact much of this came about because still they made no forward planning, prepared no contingencies is nothing less than criminal negligence and its negligence according to this report that stops with Johnson himself. The civil service planned for nothing because Johnson forbade it and of course for the TES, with their focus on education, the mess regarding exams, the dissatisfactory grading systems, the ignorance stemming from a hardened belief that kids don’t get sick, aren’t as much at risk and again, repeated the mistake of locking schools down too late. Johnson was determined that exams would go ahead, that schools would reopen and that Coronavirus would damn well do as he told it essentially. Just pig fucking ignorance. King fucking Canute mark 2. You can bluff the public, blowhard across right-wing media to deceive the masses, but this doesn’t work on the virus. It doesn’t just pack up and go home. And lessons have never been learned since, the cycle of stupid just continued. Just as Williamson was seemingly frozen out, local authorities were as well, on the basis not enough of them were Conservative! In amongst all of this the government opened up for Christmas, there was Eat Out to Help Out, we’ve seen new variants evolve here as well as arrive here due to never properly implementing travel restrictions. Schools wanted to move back online, Williamson did appear by this point of course, he threatened the schools through their local councils with court action if they didn’t obey the order to stay open. This entire disaster has unfolded from an ignorance and distortion of science, a failed desire to put economic interests ahead of the health and wellbeing of a nation and a level of control freakery and diktat that means the buck very much stops with the buffoon in Number 10, but also with those who have supported, stood by and agreed with his decisions, which inevitably led to repeated U-turn after U-turn. Schools have been the main drivers of Covid-19, we know this, we’re seeing it now as new cases and testing figures decline whilst kids are on holiday. There’s still no impression that anything is going to change ahead of September, there is still too much reliance and belief the vaccine is and of itself the answer. That if Johnson continues to bury his head in the sand it’ll all go away. The vaccine cannot do this on its own. It’s not 100%, its just asking for more resistant variants to start appearing when schools return because it puts the virus under pressure to do so when so many remain unvaccinated, especially in our schools. This government has failed us utterly, continues to fail us utterly, yet an alternative to this madness is nowhere in sight.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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The Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill has passed. The Bill hasn’t been Killed.

So the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill returned to parliament yesterday and as predicted, all the Tories fell into line to see it pass at third reading.

If you thought Boris Johnson and his gang value freedom after deciding to unlock the country regardless of rising cases of Covid, this bill should be telling you that his version of freedom involves you getting back to work and doing as you’re told. He’s free to control you – that’s what it amounts to.

This bill is an assault on all our freedoms, it’s an authoritarian crackdown on protest and being able to create a public nuisance by way of it. That is the point of protest, to cause a disruption, to draw attention to the fact we aren’t happy about something in a peaceful manner.

The right to protest is a basic human right, therefore to effectively legislate it away by saying any form of public nuisance is punishable by up to 10 years in prison is undemocratic and dictatorial.

You can go out into society, not wear your mask, spread Covid to the vulnerable and that’s OK, but topple a racist statue, or even just speak too loudly and you face years behind bars.

If you block a road, that will become an offence. If you use a loudspeaker, that will become an offence.

Seriously, that’s how fucked up this country became last night, as this is the instruction our leaders and our representatives handed down. Freedom to spread a virus, but none to complain about it.

The Tories argued few protests had conditions attached to them – police already have the right to impose restrictions on where a protest can take place, how many can attend and how long it can last for, but they have always had to justify doing so. The Police Crackdown Bill literally changes that to any officer can impose any restriction they deem fit – there’s no limit on what they could do. They could restrict a demonstration to just 5 minutes. They could demand you stand there in silence, there’s literally no limitation. Incredibly dangerous powers for anyone to have.

Think about it. I mentioned loudspeakers already, but literally any noise could be used as an excuse to impose a restriction, or if somebody complains, use it as grounds for arrest. If the protest is travelling, say from the BBC to Parliament Square, as one did recently. The Police could impose a restriction demanding the protest not move, effectively keeping the protestors away from the very people who’s attention they’d be trying to attract. Essentially Parliament Square could be ruled as somewhere protests are simply no longer allowed.

In fact, the police crackdown bill does just that. Along with Canon Row, Parliament Street and Derby Gate, it will be illegal to hold any form of protest there. If, as a for instance, you’re carrying a ‘Johnson out now’ placard nearby to Downing Street, that could be made grounds for instant arrest. The BBC, New Scotland Yard, literally anywhere could be outlawed as a venue for civilised dissent at the whim of the police beforehand or at any point during should they change their minds, or somebody complains about the public nuisance.

The police will even be able change the rules at a protest and arrest you even if you didn’t know about the change. That’ll be considered your fault. The sentence for straying from such a police imposed ruling? 3 to 11 months in jail. For causing a public nuisance? 10 years. There will be tougher sentences for organisers, for whom organising a protest will become all but impossible in practice.

We’ve seen Kill the Bill protests up and down the country. The Bill hasn’t been killed. With a Conservative government filled with sycophantic nodders who vote with the government on literally anything, never ever representing you, your area or your interests, bereft of minds of their own, this bloody bill is going to pass into law.

Where is the outcry in the media? Silent as a bloody lamb, but then this was buried to an extent underneath Johnson’s insane plan to just do away with the vast majority of Covid-19 restrictions, dominating the news headlines and they’ve snuck this out largely unreported as a result, though not completely.

How do you tell the government a bad law is a bad law? You protest. It is a basic human right to cause dissent to show displeasure to power, to tell them their voters are unhappy with what they are doing. It is my firm belief that this bill will not do what it is intended to do. People will not just stop speaking out because the government have attempted to outlaw it. What it will encourage is more scenes such as that we saw at the Sarah Everard vigil where police heavy-handedness became the story. The police will be set free to essentially do as they like and if they take a too heavy handed approach to these new powers, who in actual fact becomes the offender in the end?

The government may as well expect more protests because the more they try to tighten their grip, the more power will end up slipping from their fingers. It’s an unwise, dictatorial move from a government for whom there’s a lot more of us than them.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.