Boris Johnson has briefed his Cabinet on plans to reform health and care funding, which are expected to tear up Tory manifesto commitments.
The Prime Minister will set out in the Commons later how he aims to tackle the social care crisis in England, with the risk of a Tory backlash if he raises National Insurance to pay for the reforms.
The tax hike, thought to be about 1.25 percentage points, will raise around £10 billion, which will be spent on the NHS as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as to help people avoid crippling adult social care costs.
Cabinet ministers returned to Downing Street for a face-to-face meeting for the first time in 2021, with many around the table concerned about breaking a general election promise not to raise National Insurance.
Downing Street hopes to present the package as an attempt to help the NHS clear backlogs, as well as resolve long-standing issues around care costs.
No 10 said a lack of integration between the two often sees people “stuck in the wrong care setting, and families worry about meeting the costs of care if they leave NHS provision”.
And Downing Street described as “unfair and often catastrophic” the situation where someone who has dementia may have to pay for their care in full, while someone cared for by the NHS would receive care for free.
It said one in seven people now pays more than £100,000 for their care, and said the system can lead to “spiralling costs and the complete liquidation of someone’s assets”.
Under current arrangements, anyone with assets over £23,350 pays for their care in full, but No 10 said the costs were “catastrophic and often unpredictable”.
It has not gone down well with a large cross-section of people from all sides of the political divide, here are some of the most franks reactions
Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told The Telegraph the plans were a “sham” because they did not reform the social care system.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “Boris Johnson gave voters a cast iron guarantee that he would not raise National Insurance – and now he’s breaking voters’ trust again.
Levelling up:— David Schneider (@davidschneider) September 6, 2021
Millionaires cutting £20 a week from the poorest in the country and getting the less well-off to pay for social care while the wealthy retired don’t have to.
UK STATUS:— Stephen McGann? (@StephenMcGann) September 6, 2021
NOBODY MENTION THE £350M QUID NHS BUS.
YOU DIDN’T SEE THE £350M QUID NHS BUS.
THE £350M QUID NHS BUS WAS JUST OUR LITTLE JOKE.
CAN’T YOU TAKE A JOKE?
NOW PAY UP.
TOMORROW: Remember when we were going to fund the NHS by leaving the EU. pic.twitter.com/L1dNsm7Gkm— The DM Reporter (@DMReporter) September 6, 2021
In his personal life, Johnson’s main tactic seems to have been to get Tory donors to pay for things. So why doesn’t he just extend that philosophy to social care?— Keith Burge (@carryonkeith) September 6, 2021
Own up….. who stole the £600 million a week that was supposed to be for the NHS? pic.twitter.com/EA8t52qdDa— Jason J Hunter (Not a noble Lord) (@JJHTweets) September 6, 2021
BREAKING: Downing Street denies social care plans are so chaotic they’re in danger of being labelled “oven-ready”.— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) September 6, 2021
Tories have somehow managed to convince voters that state services can only be funded by either taxing workers or slashing benefits. They must be absolutely laughing to the bank— Sam Bright (@WritesBright) September 6, 2021
can I ask my employer to pay me in huel gift cards to get around this tax increase? https://t.co/XVuAYjHr2D— hammy. (@iamhamesh) September 6, 2021
National insurance, unlike income tax, isn’t paid on unearned income. Raising national insurance, rather than income tax, is a choice to favour people who don’t have to work for a living.— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) September 4, 2021
A tax hike on National Insurance hey. A tax that people stop paying at 65. Wonder why Boris Johnson is doing that. pic.twitter.com/nrvbfChnNW— Otto English (@Otto_English) September 3, 2021
Boris Johnson’s social care plan looks every bit as well planned and thought through as his Brexit plan— dave ❄️ ? ? (@davemacladd) September 6, 2021
starting to think that Boris Johnson hadn’t actually prepared a clear plan to fix social care in 2019— Henry Mance (@henrymance) September 5, 2021