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Opinion: £30 Billion National Insurance Surplus A Kick In The Teeth For Starving Families

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Chancellor George Osborne is sitting on a £30 BILLION National Insurance surplus while struggling families turn to food banks to feed their children, it has been revealed.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott says figures from the House of Lords Library show the government spent £106 billion from National Insurance (NI) contributions last year. The benefits system received £85 billion and the NHS got £21 billion.

But then Mr Prescott discovered something so shocking it managed to stun even a seasoned politician. “I discovered something that stunned me – the Government last year held back nearly £30 billion”, he said.

“National ­Insurance money can only be used for the NHS or benefits. So since he can’t spend it on anything else and chooses not to fund ­hospitals, the Chancellor lets it sit there.”

Mr Prescott recommends that the surplus should be used to help shore up a buckling NHS.

But what about helping people forced to turn to food banks due to draconian benefit sanctions, or the cruel and callous ‘bedroom tax’?

The food bank charity Trussell Trust gave out three days worth of food to more than 913,000 people in 2013-14, including 330,205 children.

The most common reason given by food bank users, who must be referred by a professional such as a social worker or health visitor, is benefit delays including sanctions.

A cross-party report to be published later this week, endorsed the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, is expected to show benefits sanctions are at least partly to blame for the soaring number of food bank users.

Stripping a persons only ability to feed themselves and keep warm, often for ridiculous or trivial reasons, can drive people to homelessness and even cost lives.

The 11 most senseless benefit sanction decisions known to man

How can this possibly be fair or just? Especially when Osborne is sitting on £30 billion of public money – your money!

Money which is meant to be used to provide a safety net for anyone who falls upon hard-times, or whom are unable to support themselves due to illness or disability.


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  1. GROW UP and be informed, The National Insurance Fund surplus is there to be continually be banked up as the security behind UK and NHS and social support. It is not to be spent all at once. It is what has secured you and the welfare state since war. By building up and keeping a reservoir of subscriptions bevan made a pot so big no one could empty it and return UK to pre war poverty. It is this the govt and private insurance and health providers are after. The pot was even larger. slowly baking up and being a safe guard, the govt in times of recession and crash can borrow against it but cannot use it for anything else except health and welfare. However, using this reason, the govt and private insurance UNUM dreamed up the WCA and Atos assessments and disability denial to empty the pot. Under the guise of spending money to help disabled back to work the money has instead been given to work providers and disability deniers in huge billion pound contracts at a rate of 10 million pound contracts a day in first year Cameron came to power in 2010. The offer and trick of cutting people out of NI subs as under a certain income or employers means the pot is not being subscribed to and kept up

    GROW UP!! The NI Fund was there to secure the whole of the nation, the national health system and welfare system as was the accumulated pension funds, it has all been accessed and wrecked.

    The govt has no intention of feeding or saving and helping any one of you, The money, even when going to welfare reform or health is going intot he pockets of the private for their hefty contracts.

    GROW UP! None of you know your history or reason for anything, Money is not for spending, it is for saving and securing, then you can safely provide and spend.

    I am surprised Welfare Weekly does not understand this

    30 Billions, REALLY! Was 112 BILLION just a few years ago

    WAKE UP. IT IS BEING THIEVED AND EMPTIED. and with your support and blessing because you are all soo THICK!

  2. I feel Mr Prescott is being a little insincere, here. I am sure he knows about the National Insurance Surplus Fund as it was something that was around when he was Deputy, too.

    National Insurance has traditionally run a surplus. In 2007 the surplus was in fact £40 billion.

    It’s not true that NI money can only be used for the NHS and Welfare because governments departments can “borrow” from the fund to spend it elsewhere but it then becomes “a debt” which they then have to pay interest on. Government departments consistently “borrow” from the fund for other purposes.

    What is more disturbing is that in 2012 the government made an “adjustment” based upon “false assumptions”, that wiped out approximately £100 billion from the surplus fund debt.

    More info can be found here; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Insurance_Fund

    This is either a deliberate criminal act of theft from the public purse, or at the very least criminal negligence.

  3. This article conflates the NIF balance (which is rapidly disappearing) with the current account position of National Insurance. In fact National Insurance has been in deficit for the last 5 years. More is being paid out from the fund than is actually being received in the form of NICs. That NI balance is, in any case, automatically “lent” to the government so it keeps down external borrowing.
    It is also projected that this NI deficit will grow in years to come with an aging population. What is a surplus will turn into a shortfall which, of course, will have to be covered by other taxation. Ultimately this means nothing. It’s an accounting nicety of parceling stuff up when, in practice, it’s the net effect on government income and expenditure that matters. Thinking that there’s some form of untapped pot of gold at the end of the NIC rainbow is just fantasy.

    For those that care to read it, here is a summary of the latest NIF accounts.


    • “Each year there is a surplus of the order of £2 billion. The Great Britain NIF had a surplus of over £34 billion as at 2005/06, £38 billion in 2006/7 and the Government Actuary’s Department forecasts that this surplus will grow to over £114.7 billion by 2012.[5]

      This surplus figure has been revised in recent years due to errors in assumptions by the GAD and now is forecast to be just £30 billion by 2016.”

  4. £30 Billion???? We have hospitals in crisis… and the DWP are making people homeless and killing people with benefits cuts!!! BASTARDS!! Screw the election… We need a REVOLUTION… NOW!!!

  5. OK if you want to privatise the NHS I will have ALL 44 YEARS of my contributions back-I own a piece of the NHS so I want my contributions AND A CUT OF THE PROFITS FROM ITS SALE – £30 Billion PLUS the sale price of say £3000 BILLION — I think .005% will cover it £3030 BILLIONS divided by 0.005% = But I am prepared to settle for £1.5M which will buy me a nice health care policy and supplement my income.


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