“This Government are hammering working-class people, raising taxes on workers while cutting their safety net, & doing nothing to rein in the vast wealth of the super-rich.”Zarah Sultana MP
Over the course of the pandemic the UK has amassed a record number of billionaires — 171. Their wealth has rocketed by more than £106 billion and in total now stands just shy of £600 billion, up nearly 25% since May 2020. It is safe to say that the super-rich class has not had financial worries over the past 18 months. Unlike millions of people across the country, they do not have to worry about putting food on the table, paying the rent, or the cost of caring for elderly relatives. One might think that instead of hitting the living standards of our heroic key workers, that super-rich class would be asked to pay more when the NHS and social care system is in desperate need of funding, but that is not how it is under a Conservative Government.
This national insurance hike will hit low-paid and young workers the hardest, while doing absolutely nothing to tax the wealth of the super-rich. It will cost a band 5 nurse in Coventry more than £250, and the marginal tax rate of a recent graduate, once student loan repayments are included, will now be close to 50%. That is another attack on the living standards of the working class and the young, from a party that for 11 years has let the rents of my generation soar, as student debt rockets and wages stagnate. That does not come in isolation. Next month the Conservative party plans to cut universal credit by £20 a week—the biggest overnight social security cut in the history of the welfare state. That move will push 500,000 working-class people into poverty.
Yesterday, the Conservative party announced that it would break the triple lock on pensions, robbing retirees of nearly £350 a year at a time when pensioner poverty is already at a 15-year high. This Government are hammering working-class people, raising taxes on workers while cutting their safety net, and doing nothing to rein in the vast wealth of the super-rich. They pretend they are one nation, but today they show that they only represent one class—that of billionaire donors, super-rich property developers, big landlords and fossil fuel barons. Yes, the NHS and the social care system desperately need more funding. Our care system needs to be transformed into a national care service, modelled on our amazing NHS and free at the point of use for all, but that must be funded by a wealth tax on the super-rich, not by an income tax on the poor.
- We are pleased to reproduce above Zarah Sultana’s speech in Parliament on September 8. Source – Hansard.