The BBC whitewashed the Tory hike to national insurance on its Politics Live show. But when the government itself is doing the same thing, why should the BBC be any different?
The national insurance sting
As The Canary previously reported, the Tories are upping the rate of national insurance. Boris Johnson said the rise is coming because “we have to pay for” NHS improvements. It will also theoretically pay for long-term changes to social care. The Treasury reckons that this tax hike will raise £36bn. But as The Canary wrote:
the idea that this amount will be anywhere near enough to fix the problems that the Tories claim they will has been called into question.
So, how much will national insurance be going up by? Well, on Thursday 27 January, not even the BBC could get the figure right.
Fudging the maths
During its Politics Live show, the BBC said on a graphic that the Tories are putting up national insurance by “1.25%”. But as journalist John Stratford tweeted, this is not true:
— John Stratford (@johnstratford) January 27, 2022
10.4% sounds (and is) a lot more than 1.25%. So, the public knowing this difference is crucial. On Friday 28 January, the BBC did a similar thing. This time, an article on the hike did say it was going up by 1.25p in the pound. But the BBC failed to say this was a 10.4% increase. Also, not once during the show did host Jo Coburn even mention this. Nor did she correct the 1.25% figure on screen.
Aping the Tories
Of course, why should the BBC bother to get the maths right when the Tory government itself doesn’t? Because its own website states that:
From 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 National Insurance contributions will increase by 1.25%.
The hike comes amid a cost of living crisis. As the Mirror reported, 2.5 million families are struggling to pay rent and utility bills. Inflation could hit 7% in the spring. So, the Tories’ national insurance rise could see countless families’ finances spiral further out of control. Meanwhile, the BBC can’t even get its facts straight.
Featured image via BBC iPlayer – screengrab
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