HMRC urges employers to print 'NI for the NHS' on payslips


HMRC urges employers to print ‘NI for the NHS’ on payslips as ministers brace for massive backlash when £12bn tax hike comes in next month

  • HMRC has reportedly asked employers to justify Government’s NI tax hike
  • National Insurance rise will be rolled out next month in £12billion annual raid
  • Employers told to include a message on payslips saying cash is ‘for the NHS’ 


HMRC has urged employers to defend the Government’s National Insurance hike by including a supportive message on payslips, it was claimed today. 

HMRC contacted businesses via email to ask them to point out to employees that the £12billion Tory manifesto-busting annual tax raid is ‘for the NHS’.

Firms blasted the instruction as they accused the Government of telling companies to include ‘propaganda’ on payslips. 

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have faced intense pressure to scrap the tax rise which will be rolled out from next month. 

But the Prime Minister and Chancellor have dug in, insisting the extra cash is needed to boost the health service and improve social care. 

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have faced intense pressure to scrap the tax rise which will be rolled out from next month

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have faced intense pressure to scrap the tax rise which will be rolled out from next month

But the Prime Minister and Chancellor have dug in, insisting the extra cash is needed to boost the health service and improve social care

But the Prime Minister and Chancellor have dug in, insisting the extra cash is needed to boost the health service and improve social care

The National Insurance hike of 1.25 percentage points is due to kick in from April 6 this year. 

It will apply to employees, employers and the self-employed and technically it will last until April 2023 when National Insurance will return to its current rate. 

However, at that point the extra cash will be collected in the form of the Government’s new Health and Social Care Levy.

The email from HMRC, seen by The Telegraph, suggested employers should include a message on payslips to justify the National Insurance spike. 

The email reportedly said: ‘The message should read: ‘1.25pc uplift in NICs funds NHS, health and social care’.’ 

The instruction has gone down badly with business chiefs who have said it is not their job to promote the Government’s tax rise. 

Kitty Ussher, from the Institute of Directors, told the newspaper that the instruction was an ‘odd initiative’ which appeared to be trying to justify a ‘deeply unpopular and regressive tax on jobs’. 

Craig Beaumont, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: ‘Taking away people’s pay rises during a cost-of-living crisis is bad enough, but then having the state instruct firms to write PR on payslips just adds insult to injury.’  

Other business leaders accused HMRC of trying to use ‘payslips as propaganda’. 

An HMRC spokesman told the newspaper that including the message was not mandatory but firms had been ‘strongly encouraged’ to include it. 

Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak have been under pressure from Tory MPs for many months to delay the planned hike amid the worsening cost of living crisis.  

But the pair moved at the end of January to dismiss claims they were ‘wobbling’ on the policy as the penned a joint op-ed to insist the rise will go ahead.   

Writing in The Sunday Times, they said: ‘We must clear the Covid backlogs, with our plan for health and social care – and now is the time to stick to that plan. We must go ahead with the health and care levy. It is the right plan.

‘It is progressive, in the sense that the burden falls most on those who can most afford it.’ 

Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak said they are both ‘tax-cutting Conservatives’, but there is ‘no magic money tree’.

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