It’s been 24 years since Tony Blair first pledged to fix social care.
It’s an issue that every Government since then has wrestled with but none found a solution (you may remember the “death tax” followed by the “dementia tax”)
It was never going to be easy.
But today’s announcement of a 1.25% increase to National Insurance represents a progressive and broad based increase which will:
- Protect those on the lowest pay from making any contribution at all.
- Be divided between employees and their employers
- Affect dividends as well as income - so that those who own shares in businesses will also pay
- Plus for those who require care, no one with assets or less than £20,000 will be asked to contribute. With contributions tapered for those with assets between £20,000 & £100,000 and the maximum payment (for those with assets of over £100K) capped at £86,000
Most importantly, health and social care have desperately needed a new settlement. So that backlogs can be met, so that everyone can receive decent, high quality care in an appropriate setting and so that local authorities have the funds to offer better wages to carers.
I discussed this with Jo Colborn on BBC Politics earlier. You can watch the whole interview on iPlayer.