Social care: Boris Johnson abandons manifesto promise and raises taxes to fund social care overhaul

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has abandoned his election promise to not raise taxes, as he set out plans for an overhaul of contributions in an attempt to tackle the social care crisis.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Westport Care Home in Stepney Green, east London, ahead of unveiling his long-awaited plan to fix the broken social care system (Paul Edwards/The Sun)

Mr Johnson told colleagues that “a global pandemic was in no-one’s manifesto” as he announced a new UK-wide 1.25 per cent health and social care levy which will be based on National Insurance Contributions.

He told the Commons the additional revenue would pay for the biggest catch-up programme in the history of the NHS in England, with £12 billion a year to help deal with the backlog of cases built up during the pandemic.

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From October 2023, any individual with assets of less than £20,000 will have their care costs fully covered by the Government, whereas those with between £20,000 and £100,000 will have to contribute alongside some support from the state.

Overall, nobody will have to pay more than £86,000 for the cost of care over their lifetime, which is approximately the same as around three years of care.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive an additional £2.2 billion in additional health and social care spending from the levy.

In addition to the health and social care levy, there will also be a 1.25 per cent increase in the dividend tax – to ensure those who receive their income from shares also contribute.

Initially, National Insurance contributions will increase by 1.25% from April 2022 as systems are updated.

From October of the following year, the health and social care will then be visible on pay slips as it is separated out from other costs, and will be paid by all working age adults, including those over the state pension age.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer demanded to know whether people would still have to sell their houses under these plans in order to afford their social care.

Following the Prime Minister he asked directly: “Under these proposals, people will still pay substantial costs and I heard what the Prime Minster said, so another direct question for him. Can the Prime Minister guarantee that under his plan no-one will have to sell their home to fund their care – yes or no?”