National insurance

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The page will automatically redirect to National insurance Research Briefings produced by the Commons Library, Lords Library and POST

Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on National Insurance. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

21.06.2016Personal service companies : recent debate
The 'IR35' rules to prevent the exploitation of personal service companies for tax avoidance were introduced in April 2000, following a long and contentious consultation exercise. This legislation remains unpopular among freelancers who use this corporate form to provide services. This note looks at recent debate on how these rules might be reformed and wider concerns about the use of employment intermediaries to avoid tax.
23.05.2016Self-employment in the construction industry
This note gives some background to the question of employment status and the difficulties it has caused in the construction sector, before discussing initiatives by both the Labour Government in 2009 and the Coalition Government in 2014, and more recent debates as to the possibility of a longer-term solution to this issue.
26.04.2016Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2016/17
This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 16 March 2016. It lists the principal personal allowances which will be available against income tax in the tax year 2016/17, and it outlines the conditions necessary for eligibility for these allowances. The paper provides a summary of the general tax position in straightforward cases only. It should be noted that it deals just with tax allowances. No reference is made to cash benefits provided under the social security system, or to child tax credit and working tax credit.
29.02.2016National Insurance Contributions (Rate Ceilings) Bill 2015-16
The National Insurance Contributions (Rate Ceilings) Bill 2015-16 would prevent any increase in the current rates of Class 1 National Insurance contributions paid by employees and employers for the duration of the 2015-20 Parliament. It would also provide that the Upper Earnings Limit could not exceed the higher rate threshold - the sum of the personal allowance and the basic rate limit - as proposed by the Government in its pre-Budget proposals.
21.12.2015National Insurance contributions: an introduction
This note gives an introduction to National Insurance system: the base and rate structure of National Insurance contributions (NICs), the operation of the National Insurance Fund, and the connection between a person's contributions into the Fund with their entitlement to receive benefits paid out of the Fund - the 'contributory principle'. It goes on to look at the debate there has been about integrating NICs with income tax.
20.11.2015National Insurance Fund: 1975 to 2015
The National Insurance Fund had been in healthy surplus, but this has been declining sharply in recent years to the extent that without Treasury finance the balance on the Fund was projected to fall below the recommended minimum in 2014/15.
08.09.2015National Insurance numbers (NINOs)
This note discusses the process by which National Insurance numbers (NINOs) are allocated, the uses to which they are put, and the introduction of the 'Right to Work' test, for individuals requiring a NINO for employment purposes, in July 2006.
27.03.2015Direct taxes: rates and allowances 2015/16
This paper sets out the main changes to direct tax rates and allowances announced in the Budget on 18 March 2015, for the tax year 2015/16.
11.02.2015The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15: Parliamentary scrutiny
The National Insurance Contributions Bill 2014-15 would allow for both categories of National Insurance contributions (NICs) which are payable by the self-employed - Class 2 and Class 4 - to be collected through self assessment from April 2016. The Bill would also extend existing tax rules regarding 'accelerated payments' and 'high-risk' tax promoters to NICs, and introduce a Targeted Anti-Avoidance Rule to prevent the avoidance of NICs by 'intermediaires'.
08.10.2014Basic State Pension - contribution conditions
This note covers the contribution conditions for the basic State Pension


03.10.2011An Ageing Workforce
This POSTnote examines the main challenges to the participation and productivity of older people in the workforce.

Early Day Motions

That this House notes that the Government's decision to introduce a Class 1 Employer National Insurance exemption for new businesses in regions other than the East, South East and London ...
That this House is concerned about distortions and misinformation being circulated in opposition to HM Treasury plans to curb bogus self-employment in the construction industry; notes ...
That this House recognises the vital contribution of grandparents who provide childcare to two thirds of working families; further recognises that grandparents are fundamental to the ...
That this House welcomes the new report commissioned by the Union of Construction and Allied Technical Trades (UCATT) from Professor Mark Harvey which underlines that the major factor ...
That this House acknowledges the latest report by the Government Actuary's Department showing that the balance held in the National Insurance Fund has been rising by over two and a ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses