An analysis of Google search data shows that online searches for “Can’t pay tax” rose to 900% on 24th January, the very day that Boris Johnson has said National Insurance will rise by 1.25 percent – £12bn – in April: this comes even in the middle of the well-publicised cost-of-living crisis.
The research also shows that searches for “Can’t afford tax” exploded 2,200% on 24 January, the same day that the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) revealed Rishi Sunak would delay a planned £12bn national insurance hike, and relieve the cost-of-living crisis for families whose household gas bills rose by 28.1% and electricity bills 18% in 2021, and will see energy bills increase by a further £600 in April.
MoneyMagpie’s Jasmine says, “Although it’s entirely understandable that the government would want to claw back as much cash as possible from taxpayers right now, it really is too much for the average worker to have a 1.25% extra National Insurance payment to make from April onwards. We are in the teeth of an inflation crisis which is set to continue throughout this year and potentially into next year. The government really needs to put this NI hike back by at least 12 months, if not more, to give taxpayers the chance to pay their other bills. With day-to-day living expenses going up before our eyes, it would literally bankrupt millions if they had to pay extra tax on top of their other bills.”
Read MoneyMagpie’s guide to National Insurance.