The Prime Minister is planning to reveal a National Insurance rise to fund the biggest overhaul of funding for a generation and tackle NHS waiting lists
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Boris Johnson is expected to break his manifesto pledge on tax next week to finally set out how he plans to fix the social care crisis.
The Prime Minister is planning to reveal a National Insurance rise to fund the biggest overhaul of funding for a generation and tackle NHS waiting lists.
However, it was reported last night that No 10 and the Treasury are still at loggerheads over how much tax would rise by to pay for the changes.
It is almost two years since Mr Johnson stood outside Downing Street and insisted he had a “clear plan” to give people dignity and security in old age.
Yet despite frequent promises since then his ministers have failed to provide any detail of his proposal to prop up the crippled sector.
Now he is expected to announce an NI increase of between 1 and 1.25%, but cap the costs an individual would have to pay to between £60,000 and £80,000.
Ministers first floated the idea of putting up NI to overhaul social care funding earlier this year – but are concerned that it would break a key manifesto pledge.
Labour has opposed using a NI increase to fix the crisis as it disproportionately affects younger and lower paid workers, who would contribute more than older and wealthier people.
Tory former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt also urged ministers to ditch the idea of hiking NI and instead called for a tax rise.
“I’m really arguing that we need to bite the bullet and say there has to be a tax rise of some sort,” he told the BBC.
“I think the number one priority of the electorate is to have good health and care services, and I think they understand that those pressures, irrespective of the pandemic, are only going to increase in the years ahead, and they want Britain to have the safest, highest quality health service in the world and a good social care system as well and at the moment, we’re not going to be able to do that with the resources we have.”
He said the sums needed to fund social care were “eye-watering”, adding: “They’re far bigger than a chancellor can find, you know, down the back of a treasury sofa, as it were.”
The social care system has been crumbling for more than a decade with the Covid pandemic laying bare how close it is to collapse.
Around 1.5m elderly people do not get the help they need. Many are forced to depend on under-paid and over-stretched carers working for cash-strapped firms as councils make cuts.
The Mirror’s ‘Fair Care for All’ campaign demands that the elderly are afforded proper care and not abandoned.
Meanwhile, The Times reports that health secretary Sajid Javid has pushed for a 2% increase in NI amid a cabinet split over funding.
The minister is said to feel the lower per cent increase would not be enough to plug the gap.
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said no final decision has been made but the public understood that the struggling sector needed to be “adequately funded”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I’m confident that something will come forward very, very soon because a lot of us have been waiting anxiously.
“What we said in the manifesto about social care is no one has a monopoly of wisdom about these issues and the British public are sensible enough to know that when it comes to the issue of social care we have got to find some way in which it will be adequately funded.”