Boris Johnson’s social care reforms are ‘deeply unfair’ say many critics

Boris Johnson social care reform
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The prime minister has been met with criticism across the political spectrum after he unveiled his plans to fix social care.

In a speech to parliament, Boris Johnson announced new plans to increase funding for the social care system and integrate it with healthcare.

Controversially, the main part of the plan will see national insurance rise by 1.25% from April 2022. This rise will eventually be renamed as the health and social care levy in 2023.

The plans had already been criticised by many before the formal announcement as unfairly hitting low paid workers.

The plans

As of October 2023, the state will cover social care costs in full for people with assets less than £20,000. For those with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 there will be a level of state support on a means-tested basis.

There will be a cap of £86,000 on the amount anyone has to pay for social care in their lifetime.

How it’s funded

As well as the increase in national insurance contributions, there will also be a 1.25% increase in dividends tax from April 2022.

Johnson announced that £12bn will be raised over three years from the tax increases that will go the NHS to help catch up on the huge backlog caused by the pandemic. Around £5.4bn will go to social care, though the government has claimed social care will receive more once the NHS backlog is cleared.

‘Unfair’ tax increase

Politicians and campaigners have criticised the plans for increasing taxes on the lowest paid workers. Instead, many are calling for a wealth tax to fund social care by taxing the richest.

Furthermore, some health organisations have warned “realism” is needed in interpreting the money social care will get.

Richard Murray, chief executive of The King’s Fund, warned that the cap on care costs will take most of the funding social care receives, while helping “relatively few people” at £86,000.

He added that there may not be enough money left over to address problems with workforce, care quality and access.

Social care crisis

While the funding plans have been controversial, many have been calling for proposals to help social care.

Charities have been saying the social care system was “decimated by coronavirus“. Age UK recently launched an appeal to campaign for the government to do something to plug the gaps. According to the charity, successive governments have cut social care spending by £86m since 2010.

It also raises local authority service cuts and regional variation in services as huge issues. This has resulted in 1.5m people over 65 living without the support and care they need.

Many disabled people are also living without proper support and struggling with huge costs.

Featured image via YouTube/ITV News

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