Public Bill Committee: National Insurance Contributions (Termination Awards and Sporting Testimonials) Bill: Termination awards: Great Britain

Mike Wood: I thank the shadow Minister for giving way. His point is entirely bogus, because as the Minister made clear, and as he knows, the Bill concerns purely employers’, and not employees’, contributions, so it does not tax anybody’s redundancy payment.

 

Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I will tell the hon. Gentleman what was admitted today: that still reduces people’s wages; that is what this comes down to. It could also give companies an incentive not to pay redundancy. I know that he wants to sweep those points aside as though they were irrelevant, but they are not irrelevant to a person who has worked for a company for 25 years and gets a redundancy payment that is taxed more greatly than they expected. That is the context in which I am raising these issues.

 

Mike Wood: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way. Does he accept that the maximum statutory redundancy pay, even for an employee who has worked for 25 years, is barely half of the threshold amount in the Bill, so they would not be affected, even indirectly?

 

Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

There we go again. It is the race to the bottom, isn’t it? We are always talking about a statutory minimum. That is what the Tories talk about all the time: the minimum. We do not want people living on the minimum; we want people to have a healthy, full-quality life. This is about the cumulative effect of the Government’s fiscal policies, not one isolated issue; it is about the totality. A person might have a job, but it might be a poor, insecure job. It is not just about having a job; it is about the quality and context of that job.