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Treasury changes national insurance info after Martin Lewis calls it 'misleading'

The Treasury has corrected information on its website regarding the forthcoming increase in national insurance after a tweet from (MSE) founder Martin Lewis calling it "misleading" went viral. had written that national insurance contributions would rise by 1.25% from 6 April 2022. Yet this understates the rise, which for most people sees contributions rise from 12% to 13.25% - a hike in contributions of 10.4%

Martin called this out in a tweet on 27 January, which was soon picked up by many thousands of others. You can see that tweet below:

Martin then followed this up by contacting the Treasury directly, and MSE also submitted a formal complaint to the UK Statistics Authority.

After a range of background discussions, Martin was told, while interviewing the Chancellor for ITV's The Martin Lewis Money Show Live on Thursday 3 February, that the Treasury website would be changed. We then spotted that it had indeed been updated late on Friday 4 February, after which Martin tweeted:

What does the Government say?

A spokesperson for the Treasury said: "Although this was not a new approach, as we often convey tax changes as a percentage, we updated the webpage to ensure our communications to the public are as accessible and understandable as possible.”

In response to the official complaint, the UK Statistics Authority told Martin: "We raised this [your complaint] with HM Treasury and I am glad that HMRC has now amended the page in question to refer to percentage points. Although these are not official statistics, it is important that all numbers provided by Government are presented comprehensibly and without ambiguity."

What changes were made?

Originally, the website said national insurance contributions would rise by 1.25% from 6 April this year as below: 

But in actual fact the increase is 10.25%, or 1.25 percentage points. This is how the website looks after the changes: 

How much will national insurance rise by?

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in September 2021, as part of a plan to tackle rising health and social care costs, that national insurance contributions (NICs) would increase for both employed (class 1 NICs) and self-employed (class 4 NICs) workers by 1.25 percentage points (for all those who pay it, see our Income Tax Calculator to check how much you currently pay).

The start point for paying national insurance is usually £9,568 a year. You then currently pay 12% on anything you earn after that, but this will rise to 13.25% from 6 April. For earnings above £50,270, currently the rate  drops to 2% but from 6 April that will also rise by 1.25 percentage points to 3.25%.

Below is how much you'll pay, dependent on earnings, in national insurance from 6 April in the 2022/23 financial year compared to the current 2021/22 financial year:

How much will your national insurance contributions rise by?

Annual salary

National insurance paid 2021/22

National insurance paid 2022/23

Percentage increase in how much you pay

























Table covers class 1 and class 4 national insurance contributions only based on total annual earnings - figures may differ if earnings vary weekly as class 1 NICs are only due on earnings of £184+/wk. In 2021/22, contributions must be paid on earnings above £9,568/yr. In 2022/23, this threshold will rise to £9,880/yr and the table reflects this. 

It's worth noting this table only applies to annual earnings; how much you pay may differ if your earnings differ on a weekly or monthly basis.

From 2023, this health and social care levy will be separated out from other national insurance contributions and the exact amount employees pay will be visible on their pay slips or tax returns.

Employers' national insurance contributions are also set to increase by 1.25 percentage points from 6 April - from 13.8% to 15.05%.

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