Boris Johnson outlines health and social care tax to pay for reforms
A new health and social care tax will be introduced across the UK to pay for reforms to the care sector and NHS funding in England, the PM has said.
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”.
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”.
The tax will begin as a 1.25% rise in National Insurance from April 2022, and will then become a separate tax on earned income from 2023 – 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.
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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.