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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on National Insurance Contributions

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on National Insurance Contributions on 6th May 1986.


Mr. Meacher Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will set out in a table the national insurance contributions liability at its weekly equivalent of (a) contracted-in employees through class 1,(b) contracted-out employees through class 1 and (c) self-employed people through class 2 contributions and class 4 contributions net of tax relief, in 1986-87, assuming their income is at the following constant levels throughout the year (i) £38, £60, £95, £285, and £1,000 per week, (ii) £2,075 and £4,450 per year and (iii) 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 times average female earnings and 0.5, 0.75 and 1.5 times average male earnings, respectively, and at the minimum level of income to benefit in full from the tax relief on class 4 contributions at 40 per cent., 45 per cent., 50 per cent., 55 per cent., and 60 per cent. as a single person with no other tax allowances;

(2) what would be the current level of class 2 national insurance contributions if they had not been reduced in October 1985 and if they had been increased in April 1986 in line with the usual formula; and at that level what would be the extra income to the national insurance fund or the Exchequer;

(3) what level of class 2 and class 4 contributions would be necessary to ensure that the self-employed paid the full actuarial cost of the benefits which they receive;

(4) what would be the gain to the national insurance fund or the Exchequer of removing the upper earnings limit from national insurance payments for the self-employed (a) with present tax relief and (b) without it;

(5) what would be the gain to the national insurance fund or the Exchequer of removing the upper earnings limit for class 1 national insurance contributions; and what reduction could be made in the standard rate of contribution using that gain;

(6) what would be the gain to the national insurance fund or the Exchequer of removing the reduced rates of national insurance for very low earners, in such a way that the full rate of contribution were payable down to the lower earnings limit.

Mr. Major I shall let the hon. Member have replies as soon as possible.