Mr Johnson last night promised his Government “will not duck the tough decisions needed to get NHS patients the treatment they need and to fix our broken social care system”.
Conservative backbenchers have reacted angrily to reports that Ministers are set to hike National Insurance to fund the changes in England – in breach of their general election commitment.
Rother Valley MP Alex Stafford, one of the so-called Red Wall Tories elected in 2019, warned last night that the Government must clearly demonstrate how it will make improvements to social care.
Mr Stafford told The Yorkshire Post that “throwing money” at the issue without a plan “is not going to make things better”.
He said: “We’re Conservatives – we shouldn’t be raising taxes without a plan, it has to be justified. We can’t be taking money out of people’s pockets unless we can show them that it’s going to make things better.”
Critics have warned the currently-trailed changes that would benefit elderly homeowners in the affluent South East at the expense of working families would undermine the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.
Following a statement in Parliament, the Prime Minister – along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid – will give a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to set out their proposals.
Mr Johnson said: “We must act now to ensure the health and care system has the long term funding it needs to continue fighting Covid and start tackling the backlogs, and end the injustice of catastrophic costs for social care.”
Tory peer Baroness Altmann said she hopes that the Government do not make an “historic mistake” by raising National Insurance for the policy.
She said: “The way forward is a social insurance arrangement, covering health and care needs together so that we have a unified system which does not distinguish between different ways of being disabled, but treats all those who need care with dignity and meets their basic needs.”
Tory grandees including former Prime Minister Sir John Major have all criticised the plan to increase National Insurance.
Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: “The NHS is in desperate need, but the Prime Minister – along with every Conservative MP - was elected on a manifesto that promised to fix social care on a plan that had been developed and promised no rise in National Insurance. His broken promises on tax rises cannot be followed by more broken promises for the NHS.”
Government seeks to tackle 'unfair and catastrophic' social care costs
Downing Street has dubbed as “unfair and often catastrophic” the situation where someone who has dementia may have to pay for their care in full, while someone cared for by the NHS would receive care for free.
It said one in seven people now pays more than £100,000 for their care, with the system leading to “spiralling costs and the complete liquidation of someone’s assets”.
Currently anyone with assets over £23,350 pays for their care in full, but No 10 said the costs were “catastrophic and often unpredictable”.
Reports have suggested that lifetime contributions on care will be capped at about £80,000 and National Insurance will be increased by 1.25% to raise between £10 billion and £11 billion per year.