FINANCE NEWS: Rise in charities' NI is self-defeating, claims ex-minister

The rise in charities' national insurance contributions, introduced in this year's Budget, is "plainly self-defeating

and will hurt vulnerable people, a former government minister has said.

Lord Morris of Manchester, who, as Alf Morris MP, was the first minister for the disabled in the 70s, claimed in a House of Lords debate last week that the 1 per cent rise in employers' NI payments would damage charities, especially those providing home care for disabled people and the elderly.

He claimed it would lead to higher costs and cuts in staff, and cause more bed blocking in NHS hospitals. "Is that not hurtful to highly vulnerable people and plainly self-defeating?

he asked.

Lord McIntosh, the Government's deputy chief whip in the Lords and Treasury spokesman, said the Government was sympathetic to charities' concerns.

"But their problems must be set in context. The increase in NI contributions is only 0.7 per cent of payroll nationally,

he said.

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