Political party calls for a wealth tax while ministers debate care-plan national insurance hike

Sajid Javid
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A cabinet minister has stressed the need to ensure social care reforms are “adequately funded” as the government considers a manifesto-breaking national insurance hike to cover the costs. People have criticised the government for not targeting the rich – especially individuals and companies who’ve seen their wealth soar over the pandemic. One political party has called for a wealth tax:

A broken pledge from the Brexit prime minister?

With a long-awaited announcement of reforms touted as soon as next week, ministers have been debating a tax rise to fund the NHS and social care. A source close to health secretary Sajid Javid strongly denied he had pushed for an increase to national insurance as high as 2%, but did not dispute that he had argued for a rise of more than 1%.

Read on...

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Boris Johnson
The prime minister had pledged not to raise taxes or national insurance as part of his party’s 2019 manifesto (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be arguing against an increase higher than 1%, with any rise being a breach of the Conservative’s 2019 manifesto.

Conservative former health secretary Jeremy Hunt urged the government to “bite the bullet” and announce a tax hike. With two manifesto pledges being put at odds, justice secretary Robert Buckland chose to stress the commitment to long-term reform social care. 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.

The Times reported that five Cabinet ministers would oppose the hike to national insurance. Multiple newspapers have reported that new plans could be revealed next week when Parliament returns from its summer recess.

Tax the rich

Many people have argued that if more money is needed, it may be best taking it from those who increasingly have the majority of it:

Some questioned why the government would go after workers instead of the wealthy:

Others have questioned why this can’t be paid for with the ‘Brexit windfall’:

Reform

Hunt – who oversaw the “worst on record” Winter crises as health secretary and yet now serves as the chair of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee – said the government needs to “bite the bullet” and raise tax to fund health and social care. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

I’m really arguing that we need to bite the bullet and say there has to be a tax rise of some sort.

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.

Boris Johnson has faced criticism for a delay in setting out the reforms, having said his plan was ready when speaking on the steps of Downing Street in 2019.

Bridget Phillipson
Labour’s Bridget Phillipson warned the move would hit working people and businesses hard (Nigel Roddis/PA)

During the general election that year, the Tories pledged not to raise the rate of income tax, VAT, or national insurance. Downing Street did not deny a tax raise was being considered, but it was stressed that no decisions have been made.

Labour warned the government against “hitting low earners, young people and business” with a tax rise. Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson said:

Boris Johnson still hasn’t come forward with the plan for social care he promised over two years ago, and instead they’re proposing a manifesto-breaking tax rise that would hit working people and businesses hard.

Munira Wilson, the Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for health and social care, said a 2% national insurance rise would be “unfair and unjust”. She said:

Sajid Javid is putting the burden on the same people who have been hardest hit by the pandemic, and Boris Johnson has today broken his manifesto promise not to raise taxes.

Has it really taken all this time, to make a decision to rip off the people who can least afford to shoulder the burden of social care?

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  • Show Comments
    1. Have to raise taxes, because the corporate-private sector needs to make its cut before any of the health care gets delivered. Sure, it COULD be delivered in-house, by state bodies, which would be a LOT cheaper, better organised, and send the money where its needed, but that won’t make any rich person richer, WILL IT?

      You have to look at the bigger picture here.

      The purpose of the British state under blue or red Tories, is to take money from those that work, and hand it to those who own lots of money.

      Anyone who threatens this ‘flood up’ economic process, like Corbyn, is to be met with a deluge of media assaults.

      In 1950, even better than forming the NHS, the English Private Schools should have been bulldozed away.

      A class-based society where the ruling class are overtly trained and brainwashed into sociopathy, is never going to be a nice and decent place to live for the majority.

      /= rocket science.

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