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Funding health and social care - or the art of plucking the goose

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Raising revenue involves compromises and trade-offs, and the new health and social care levy is no exception. Needing to raise a substantial amount of revenue, the Treasury took a broad approach, choosing NICs over VAT and income tax. Increasing NICs is less unpopular with voters than increasing other taxes and public misunderstanding concerning the nature of the tax additionally allows some room for political manoeuvre. The end result, though, is three taxes on income – income tax, NICs and the HSC levy – with three different bases and a UK tax system that is both unnecessarily complex and further tilted to favour the self-employed.

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