HC Deb 02 February 1995 vol 253 c824W
Mr. Alan W. Williams

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what has been the increase in employees' national insurance contributions since 1979.

Mr. Arbuthnot

In 1979, not contracted-out employees paid national insurance contributions at a flat rate of 6.5 per cent. of earnings. Currently, all employees pay an initial contribution of 2 per cent. on earnings up to the lower earnings limit of £57 a week and then at 10 per cent. on the balance of earnings up to the upper earnings limit of £430 a week. As a result, the percentage of earnings paid in contributions rises progressively as earnings increase; from 2 per cent. for those earning at the lower earnings limit to just under 9 per cent. for those earning at the upper earnings. limit. The present structure benefits the lower paid more. Employees earning up to about £130 a week pay less contributions now than they would have done if the flat 6.5 per cent. contribution rate and structure in force in 1979 still applied.

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