National insurance vote divides Havering's MPs

National Insurance vote in Havering

Havering's MPs cast a mixture of votes on the plans to increase national insurance to fund reforms to social care and help an ailing NHS. - Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas - PA Wire

The vote on plans to increase national insurance (NI) has divided Havering's MPs.

Currently 12 per cent, NI is now set to increase to 13.25pc from next April after politicians voted 319-248 in favour.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced the plans on Tuesday (September 7) before the vote took place the following day.

The increase will fund reforms to the social care sector and help an ailing NHS.

Conservative MP for Hornchurch and Upminster Julia Lopez voted for the plans, while Romford's Andrew Rosindell abstained entirely. 

In line with Labour's adopted stance, Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas voted against.

Julia Lopez - "There are no easy answers"

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In backing the increase, Ms Lopez said: "The conundrum of how to fund social care has remained unresolved for too many years.

"Only in looking at a broad-based levy like income tax, VAT or NICs, realistically is there the breadth of tax base necessary for the significant long-term funding required?"

She added that "no Conservative ever" wants to oversee a tax increase.

Andrew Rosindell - "I believe strongly in the principle of low taxes"

Reservations expressed prompted the long-serving MP to abstain from the vote.

Speaking after the plans had been announced, Mr Rosindell acknowledged that the current system is in a "state of crisis".

He referenced "deeply unequal outcomes" in terms of care costs for those suffering with dementia versus those who have a terminal illness - confirming his belief that the government must act.

However, he doesn't believe increased taxes are appropriate.

In a Twitter post confirming his abstention, Mr Rosindell wrote: "I support the PM in what he’s trying to do to fix the issue of social care, but I have major worries about ratcheting up taxation on families who are already struggling."

Jon Cruddas - "This move will be yet another example of the government failing to keep their word"

In confirming his intention to vote against, the Labour MP told the Recorder: "Social care is in desperate need of centralised reform, and with an ageing population this is one of the big issues of our time.

"However, these plans to raise national insurance, which will hit young people and those on low incomes hardest, is not the way to do it."