Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick today hit back at the Government announcement of a planned National Insurance rise to pay for social and some health care, branding it "unfair" and lacking in imagination.
By Fiona Finch
Sir Mark, a Labour and Co-operative MP, spoke out after Prime Minister Boris Johnson abandoned his pledge not to raise the main rates of tax, setting out plans to overhaul adult social care and deal with the Covid backlog in the NHS.
In a Commons statement the Prime Minister announced a new UK-wide 1.25% health and social care levy based on National Insurance contributions.
He said the additional revenue would pay for the biggest catch-up programme in the history of the NHS in England, with £12 billion a year to help deal with the backlog of cases built up during the pandemic.
It will also cover the reform of the social care system in England, ending what Downing Street described as “unpredictable and catastrophic” care costs faced by many families.
Mr Johnson acknowledged the new health and social care levy breached a Tory election commitment but told MPs “a global pandemic was in no-one’s manifesto”.
From October 2023, anyone with assets under £20,000 have their care costs fully covered by the state, while those with between £20,000 and £100,000 will be expected to contribute to their costs but will also receive state support. No-one will have to pay more than £86,000 for care costs in their lifetime.
Sir Mark said: "Basically what the Government's decided is that only people working, particularly younger people, should pay for the social care needs of older people and I don't think that is really fair because I think there are lots of people with income who are not working - obviously well off people and also other people who may be on fairly generous pensions incomes who will probably be beneficiaries and they are not being asked to contribute at all,."