Ipswich: Gummer calls for National Insurance overhaul

Ben Gummer Ben Gummer

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
6:00 AM

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer is today proposing a radical change in the way tax is charged – and looks certain to get Treasury backing.

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He has already persuaded the government to send income taxpayers a breakdown of where their taxes are spent – the first forms should be out at the end of this year.

Now he is seeking to change the name of National Insurance to Earnings Tax, which he says will more accurately represent its role in the country.

It is a move that is believed to have the support of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

National Insurance was first introduced by David Lloyd George when he was Chancellor in 1911 as a way of paying a basic state pension for the first time.

It was designed as a contributory benefits scheme, but Mr Gummer said the contributory element had been eroded over the years.

“Now with the introduction of universal benefits and the basic pension, the contributory link will be lost completely – the benefits will be paid directly by today’s taxpayers so the name change would reflect that completely.”

Mr Gummer said in a perfect world he would like to see National Insurance absorbed into income tax, but the technical obstacles to that were huge and that could not happen for many years, if ever.

However his Labour opponent at the next general election, David Ellesmere, did not support the change – believing it was a way of undermining support for what is a vital area of government finance.

He said: “I don’t think what National Insurance is called is a major issue for the people of Ipswich who are still struggling with the rise in the cost of living and low wages four years after this government came to power.”

20 comments

  • Not sure why MPs are wasting time and money trying to change the name of something. Apparently it's too difficult to actually make any changes so they just want to change the name. Says everything you need to know, they will look at anything that wastes Parliaments limited time so they end up achieving nothing. Shame on you.

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    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Merging NI and Income Tax into one would reduce the overheads of managing both so would make total common sense and that's one reason why it won't be done. The main reason is that whilst there the two remain separate it gives political parties a means to tinker with taxation so as to give us the impression they are doing things for our benefit so there will always be great resistance to change it.

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    Adrian Day

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • nice day today.rest your old brains.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • How can MR Gummer take credit for an idea that has been talked about in the Nationals for a long while and been stated as Conservative policy for a long while. Just like the rail hub at Hadleigh Road Mr Gummer tries to take credit for something he has had no involvement in.

    Report this comment

    GrumpyRanter

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • if we still had national service [ gummer would have been an officer [

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • GrumpyRanter...no doubt he'll tell us in his memoirs - The Secret Diaries of Ben Gummer Aged 13-34

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    Robotix

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Why doesnt he get the railways fixed, hes talked about that enough, still nothing.

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    trevorwoolnough

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Wow! How dull is Ben Gummer? Is this really a burning issue? Who is interested in what it's called for goodness sake? What we want are politicians who are working hard improve the economy not tinker with silly name changes to taxes. That man really is a total waste of space.

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    Driven Roundabend

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Well !, the tories are really determined to 'dismantle' OUR welfare state !!, anything which has the word 'National' or is in the interests and benefits of the British people they are effectively 'Privatising' !. The 'debt' this Country owes all the families that their forefathers have given their lives for ! and that is all forgotten ?, the words "We will remember them" ?? when exactly ??

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    freedomf

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Another case of smoke + mirrors from Conservative Central Office.What are they hiding or trying to distract people from? Lets merge NI with income tax and give a tax break just before a general election and further cut resources from central government to local government highways the nhs police etc etc etc.This will distract people from what they are doing with the NHS and the p poor response to flood defences and flooding which they helped to cause by cutting back.

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    JC

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • The plan should surely be to scrap National insurance and merge it with income tax. It would make it simpler for all and as its simpler harder to avoid. Few know it but the basic rate of tax (Income tax + employees NI + employers NI) is 45.8%. The government have two sets of rules for these ‘Taxes’ and different teams enforcing and collecting them. It would be a big brave move but one that is logical and MUST come.

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    A Smith

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Merging NI and Income Tax into one would reduce the overheads of managing both so would make total common sense and that's one reason why it won't be done. The main reason is that whilst there the two remain separate it gives political parties a means to tinker with taxation so as to give us the impression they are doing things for our benefit so there will always be great resistance to change it.

    Report this comment

    Adrian Day

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • The irony of accusing the conservatives of stealth taxing while in the process of exposing a stealth tax ! NI has not been a pension contribution for years. It's just an income tax with an added piece of employment tax. Any honest politician should recognise this and simplify it.

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    Rollup

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • I have very great respect for both Ben & Dan Poulter, but sorry gentlemen your focus should be back at home. While you are grandstanding on National Insurance, Suffolk County Council are giving away your constituents jobs and Ipswich's prized assets to our neighbours across the border. Norfolk County Council has 50% of its cabinet living in Norwich, we know where their allegiances lie. For Suffolk County Council our decisions are made by a cabinet with not a single councillor living in Ipswich. They are unaccountable and have nothing to lose when they give and gamble away Ipswich’s assets (Police Control Room the latest potential causality). What did SCC secure in return ? Norfolk’s rubbish ! Says it all. Well done Suffolk County Council ! Your unscrupulous, unfair and systematic undermining of Ipswich as a regional centre is almost complete.

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    Mark Ling

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I don't really care what it's called or where it goes all that matters it that we have to pay it. Surely it is costing the government money to administrate a name change and sending letters out to everyone telling them where the money goes? Therefore they will have to put taxes up in order to pay the costs of telling us where the money goes!! Utter madness. Try doing something useful Gummer.

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    RC

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Freeddomf , how i agree with you, and why have they chosen a unheard MP, from a marginal seat to raise this issue, it is to keep it out of the national headlines!!! something tell me it is another stealth tax to hit the working class.

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    richard procter

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • Pensioners have been badly hit by the intentional suppression of interest rates by the 'government' (so that house prices will rise and we all feel good! hahahahaha) and the merging of Income Tax and NI would increase taxation for pensioners. I think it is possible to avoid that, simply by having a different tax rate for those of pensionable age, but governments all over the world who have printed billions are looking for ways to repay that reckless debt and pensioners are seen as an easy target.

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    Johnthebap

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I have to agree with David Ellesmere. In the grand scheme it doesn't matter what it's called, the money is going to be taken either way. All it will cause is a lot of time and expense updating software and forms to change the name from NI to ET. Just another marvelous waste!

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    Chris Church

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • years ago when i was working and money was tight due to 2 children and a mortgage i had to pay extra insurance tax then known as S.E.T and other names ,being told that when i retired i would have extra pension and would be able to have a good retirement,what a con the little bit extra does not represent what i paid in yes i among others were conned ,and don't forget what you get reduces your benefits and it can also be taxable,so is this another con?.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Chris Church, yes. In other words, a way to make people like Gummer look as though they're doing something. Well, I guess he is but its not doing something useful.

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    Robotix

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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