Boris Johnson set to unveil social care plans - what we can expect

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 7:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 10:03 am
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce social care reform proposals today (Photo: Shutterstock)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce social care reform proposals today (Tues 7 September), as he vows to end "catastrophic costs" for social care users in England.

He is due to present his plans to the cabinet on Tuesday morning before then setting out the details in a statement to the Commons.

It is expected that the Prime Minister will breach election promises and raise National Insurance - a tax paid by workers and employers - by around 1.25 percentage points in order to cover the cost of the reform plans.

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He will then join Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid for a press conference later in the day.

The Prime Minister is also expected to announce long-term funding arrangements to help the NHS respond to the Covid pandemic.

Mr Johnson is expected to say the government will not "duck the tough decisions needed" to help the service and fix England's "broken" social care system.

However, reports that the Prime Minister will raise National Insurance in order to cover costs has sparked a backlash from both Conservatives and Labour.

‘It would hit working people hard, including low earners and young people’

Tory former chancellors Lord Hammond, Lord Clarke and Lord Lamont have all criticised the plan, while former Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major has called it "regressive".

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also told the Prime Minister his party will oppose plans to increase national insurance to fund social care.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, Sir Keir said Labour supported tax increases to overhaul the system but that a national insurance rise would “hit working people hard, including low earners and young people” and disproportionately impact businesses that had been damaged by the pandemic.

Sir Keir said: “The taxes that pay for social care should be fair across the generations and all forms of income. Those with the broadest shoulders should pay more – not the working families now set for an unfair tax rise.”

He added: “We’ve said that this additional investment will need to be funded through tax rises – but increasing national insurance contributions isn’t the right way to do it.

“It would hit working people hard, including low earners and young people, and would place a huge burden on businesses just as they’re trying to get back on their feet.”