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National Insurance Contributions

Volume 300: debated on Monday 10 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are her estimates of the yield to the Exchequer from extending (a) employee and (b) employer national insurance contributions to all taxable benefits in kind; and if she will make a statement. [14522]

It is estimated that the extension of Class 1A paid by employers to other taxable benefits at the current 10.0 per cent. rate would raise approximately £300 million. Extending Class 1 paid by both employers and employees to taxable benefits in kind, assuming that all contributions are paid at the main 10 per cent. rate, is estimated to result in revenue of around £850 million in secondary contributions and £250 million in primary. However this would have to be offset against the loss of around £550 million Class 1A, giving a net gain of around £550 million.We have already announced measures to bring non-cash vouchers into liability for National Insurance. We will continue to keep pay practices and the case for extending contributions to other benefits in kind under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is her estimate of the effects on employment of a 1 per cent. reduction in the rates of employers' national insurance contributions; and if she will make a statement. [14518]

It is not possible to produce an estimate.The effect of changes on employers' National Insurance contributions cannot be isolated from other factors affecting the level of employment.