The rise of National Insurance (NI) should be scrapped as it exasperates the cost-of-living crisis for retail workers, trade union Usdaw has warned.
The warning comes as Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have confirmed that the 10% increase of NI, will go ahead in April 2022 until April 2023 to support a health and social care levy.
Usdaw has described the tax hike as the “wrong policy at the wrong time” and has joined Labour in opposing the NI increase.
As a result, the trade union highlighted that the cost-of-living crisis has made retail workers “struggle to make ends meet”, which has been coupled with food prices rising, energy bills soaring and real wages falling.
Additionally, the increase will also hit businesses as the retail industry was already “in crisis before the pandemic”.
Usdaw outlined the need for a retail recovery plan from the government but has warned it needed to be “sensitive to the impact of fiscal policy on business”.
Despite this, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has stated that the increase is necessary due to Covid spending.
Some Labour and Liberal Democrats members have suggested taxing oil companies, capital gains or inheritance rather than low-paid workers.
“We hope the Government is listening to the growing calls from business, trade unions and MPs across the House of Commons for the National Insurance increase to be scrapped,” Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said.
“This government tax rise in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis is bad for workers, businesses, consumers and families.”