SHARON HODGSON: National Insurance rise is not the way to fund social care

A decade of Conservative and Lib-Dem rule has seen a generation of older people struggle to access the care they both need and deserve.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 12:00 am
Ordinary people, only recently recovering from the pandemic, now face an unaffordable tax.

Years of neglect have brought about high employee turnover, low pay and chronic funding shortages which plague the sector. It is no exaggeration to say that the Conservatives are the party of levelling down.

It’s clear; the UK must raise taxes to fund social care.

But a rise in National Insurance is not the way to do it.

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I believe in fair taxation. If you earn £100,000, a 1% tax has less effect on your living standards than a 1% tax on £15,000. The Conservatives will now raise National Insurance by 1.25%, breaking a manifesto commitment in the process.

A rise in National Insurance is paid by those workers who are not at the State Pension age and is topped-up by employers, meaning the rise will hit young families and small businesses hard. Ordinary people, only recently recovering from the pandemic, now face an unaffordable tax. Workers on Universal Credit, fresh from having their benefits cut by £20 a week, will have even less in their pocket.

Frankly, this does not represent fair taxation.

As public services creak and inflation looms, this Conservative Government will lay the burden of social care on working families and young people. The least well-off will pay for a relatively asset-rich older generation.

The elderly worked hard for what they have, this isn’t in question, but it is only fair that those with the broadest shoulders bear the strongest weight.

Between their disastrous approach to withdrawal in Afghanistan, the forthcoming plans to introduce voter ID and now a violation of a serious manifesto promise, the Conservatives’ war on ordinary voters has many fronts. Including, for Dominic Raab the Foreign Secretary, the beachfront.

There is no blaming these measures on the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic. This crisis in social care has been longstanding and foreseen; the Prime Minister pledged a fix two years ago.

Unequal, Unserious, Unreliable. The Tories simply cannot be trusted.