#AceHealthReport – Sept.08: Boris Johnson said it would raise £36bn for frontline services in the next three years and be the “biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’ history”
#AceDailyNews says that Boris Johnson has outlined a new 1.25% health and social care tax to pay for reforms………..He accepted the tax broke a manifesto pledge, but said the “global pandemic was in no one’s manifesto”……………….However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the plan was a “sticking plaster”.
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The tax will begin as a 1.25% rise in National Insurance (NI) from April 2022 paid by both employers and workers, and will then become a separate tax on earned income from 2023 – calculated in the same way as NI and appearing on an employee’s payslip.
Income from share dividends – earned by those who own shares in companies – will also see a 1.25% tax increase.
The UK-wide tax will be focused on funding health and social care in England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive an additional £2.2bn to spend on their services.
PM: Social care must be paid for by taxes, not borrowing
Mr Johnson said the proceeds from these rises would lead to £12bn a year going into catching up on the backlog in the NHS created by Covid, increasing hospital capacity for nine million more appointments, scans and operations.
And he pledged that by 2024/25, there would be the ability to help 30% more elective patients than before the pandemic.
The money will also go towards changes to the social care system, where a cap will be introduced on care costs from October 2023 of £86,000 over a person’s lifetime.
All people with assets worth less than £20,000 will then have their care fully covered by the state, and those who have between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will see their care costs subsidised.
Mr Johnson insisted that with the new tax “everyone will contribute according to their means”, adding: “You can’t fix the Covid backlogs without giving the NHS the money it needs.”You can’t fix the NHS without fixing social care. you can’t fix social care without removing the fear of losing everything to pay for social care and you can’t fix health and social care without long-term reform. “The plan that this government is setting out… will fix all of those problems together.”But Labour’s Sir Keir said the new tax broke the Conservatives’ pledge at the last election not to raise National Insurance, income tax or VAT. He also said the rise would target young people, supermarket workers and nurses, rather than those with the “broadest shoulders” who should pay more. The Labour leader added: “Read my lips – the Tories can never again claim to be the party of low tax.”The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey – who is a carer himself – also said the tax was “unfair”, and said the government’s plan missed out solutions for staffing shortages, care for working age adults and unpaid family carers. Mr Johnson said no Conservative government wanted to raise taxes – but he defended the move as “the right, the reasonable and fair approach” in light of the pandemic, which saw the government spend upwards of £407bn on support. A tax more palatable to voters?Analysis by Peter Saull, BBC politics correspondentUnder Boris Johnson’s plan, your payslip will feature a “Health and Social Care Levy” from 2023 onwards.This is the 1.25% rise in National Insurance rebranded to underline that the money will be ring-fenced for the health and care system.You may well have seen something similar on your council tax bill.Local authorities in England have been able to raise extra money through an “adult social care precept” since 2015. In effect, though, the prime minister is creating a brand new tax.The idea of a specific “NHS and care tax” is something that may well be more palatable to voters.And future occupants of No 10 could struggle to justify getting rid of it.
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