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Independents' Day

GPs set to avoid national insurance increase after Government u-turn

GP partners will no longer have to pay increased national insurance contributions from next year after the Government u-turned on its budget decision.

Medical accountants had warned that the plan to increase NIC for self-employed people by 2% over the course of the next two years would completely wipe out any uplifts to GP contractual funding, if the Government continued to apply 1% year-on-year public sector pay rises.

Under the plans announced in last week's Spring Budget, the main rate of class 4 national insurance contributions was to increase from 9% to 10% in April 2018 and to 11% in April 2019 'to reduce the gap in rates paid by the self-employed and employees'.

But chancellor Philip Hammond has written to MPS that there will be 'no increase' to NIC 'in this Parliament'.

Explaining the u-turn to MPs in the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr Hammond said: 'Given that the interpretation that is clearly out there of the manifesto commitment that is made, we think our priority now is to show that we will deliver on the spirit as well as the letter of that commitment and we will not increase national insurance contributions in this Parliament.'

He admitted this meant having to address how pledges on spending from the Spring Budget statement would instead be financed.

As previously reported, this included £2bn for social care and £100m to put GPs in A&E departments by next winter.

Readers' comments (2)

  • If only they could do this on 8-8 access 7 days a week

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  • Vinci Ho

    History seems to have 'soft' spot for a Tory Chancellor and keeps rewriting for him. It is not exactly Groundhog Day but three times in a row he had to U-turn in about a week. Last time , if you remember, it was bloody and brutal when Ozzy was stabbed right on his back by IDS. This time , it was more about breaking promises made in the election manifesto . Yes , it is good news to us ,as GP partners are self employed but SSP certainly couldn't care less about how we feel but had to avoid the embarrassment of the budget not being passed through the parliament otherwise. And according to Yuval Noah Harari in his latest(2016) book Homo-Deus: a brief history of tomorrow:the best reason to study history is not to repeat history so as to predict the future, but to liberate from history, free yourself from the past and imagine alternative destinies , though we are still shaped by the past .SSP certainly had far few alternatives and had to follow the principles of his party and behave like a Tory.
    The interesting question remains ,'what will happen to the money going into social care?' and what about all the other domestic issues like NHS, education , public services etc. Perhaps the key is the £60 billions(newly borrowed money according to last Autumn budget)to be locked away for the potential consequences of Brexit. Once again , Brexit is the distraction of everything and it is an understatement to say the government is far from prepared for it. The uncertainty strikes the same tone of the forthcoming Games of Throne season seven (Sorry, my guilty pleasure)

    There are many reasons why fans love Games of Throne(TV and novels) so much . George R.R. Martin admitted in an interview the story was indeed inspired by the Wars of the Roses; Tyrion Lannister , for instance, was a character inspired by Richard III.
    If Game of Thrones was inspired by our history , it has now inspired our political reality. End of last season(6), we saw Cersei Lannister crowned as the new queen on the Iron Throne under rather unprecedented circumstances, although she played a part in the final conspiracy. It is unfair to compare Cersei with our beloved auntie as the former is a fictional , belligerent and vengeful character but Auntie did create the label 'nasty party' after all.
    Up north in Meereen, the dragon girl had now enough firepower with her three dragons marching towards Kings Landing to reclaim her sovereignty. I suppose our famous Scottish lady , like Daenarys Targaryen, wants to set free her own dragon called IR2.0.
    In fact , when Auntie May thought she had just shrugged off the bother of the House of Lords' frail attempts to amend the Brexit Bill , her well charged confidence met a sting of the tail attack by our dragon girl who planned to pass IR2.0 in Holyrood next week. So much I believe nationalism and patriotism are often overrated , Auntie risks further surge of this ideology if Westminster says No to IR2.0. The media polls currently suggested the appetite is not quite there yet for independence but who knows ? The real battle will only take place after Article 50 is invoked in two weeks time. And it will be even more interesting if EU commission would use Scotland as a card to blackmail our beloved auntie on the negotiating table.Yes, no deal is better than a bad deal but even Mr Davis just admitted that the government had no assessment of the impact of a no deal situation(hence , go back to WTO by default) but I suppose he would like to say ,'Trust me , I am David.'
    Finally , nobody seems to be entirely clear about the intentions of the White Walkers(and its king) in last two seasons(5&6) , but one can perhaps imagine the picture of a Trump-Le Pen-Wilders-Erdogon-Putin world to fill up the blanks .
    Nigel, have you found Valyrian Steel?
    And Lord Vader , where are you hiding these days?
    Couldn't change the ending even after watching La La Land four times up to now as well as carrying the ringtone in my phone . But if my beloved Ed Sheehan has 16 songs in UK Top 20 , I remain hopeful about the future .........

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