Queen's Speech: Social care mention 'shameful' says Pierce
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to reveal long-awaited reforms to social care, but has been criticised for plans to hike National Insurance to pay for it. His reforms to social care are estimated to cost £10billion, which breaches the Conservative party’s 2019 manifesto promise to “not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance”.
Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, took to Twitter to lambast the Prime Minister for the controversial plans to pay for social care reforms.
When he became Prime Minister, Mr Johnson vowed “we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all”, and insisted the Conservatives had a “clear plan”.
The MP for Ashton under Lyne accused Mr Johnson of a “big fat lie” when he promised in July 2019 to “protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care”.
She posted: “Given Ministers are apparently still ‘haggling’ over numbers – never mind how it will work – I think we can all agree that when Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street over two years ago and said he had prepared a plan to fix social care he was telling a big fat lie.”
Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, has also opposed plans for a National Insurance hike to fund social care.
Speaking to The Mirror, Sir Keir said: “We do need more investment in the NHS and social care but National Insurance, this way of doing it, simply hits low earners, it hits young people and it hits businesses.
“We don’t agree that is the appropriate way to do it. Do we accept that we need more investment? Yes, we do. Do we accept that NI is the right way to do it? No, we don’t.
“But we will look at what they put forward because after eleven years of neglect we do need a solution.”
Three former Tory chancellors have also skewered the reported plans as a tax on the working young.
Lord Hammond, chancellor between 2016 and 2019, told Times Radio that he believed “breaking a manifesto commitment in order to underwrite the care costs of older people with homes… would provoke a very significant backlash”.
Lord Kenneth Clarke, chancellor between 1993 and 1997, told LBC radio it was “too heavily weighted on the lower-paid” and there was “no reason” why people who continue to work after state pension age no longer pay it.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major warned the move would be “regressive”.
The Times reported Mr Johnson is in “invincible mode” and will push through the insurance hike despite “considerable” opposition, according to Treasury sources.
A source told the outlet: “The PM is in invincible mode in meetings.
“Rishi’s team has proposed a series of cheaper alternatives but none works for the PM.”
Another Treasury source added: “They’re still haggling over the cap.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, publicly opposed the plans and warned the Prime Minister he could lose the next election if he pushed through the move.
He recalled in the Sunday Express how George HW Bush, who broke his “ready my lips, no new taxes” pledge in the 1988 US election, lost to Bill Clinton four years later.
In a YouGov poll for The Times, 64 percent of voters support an increase in National Insurance to pay for social care.
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