Social care plans 'throwing other people’s money down a bottomless pit', former Northern Powerhouse minister suggests

The Government’s plans to reform health and social care resemble “throwing other people’s money down a bottomless pit”  a former Northern Powerhouse Minister has warned, as they were condemned across the House of Commons.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (second left), Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (right) talk to residents Doreen (left) and Janet 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)

Jake Berry, current chair of the Northern Research Group who served in the Government’s of Theresa May and Boris Johnson called on the Prime Minister to “think again” when it comes to the proposed health and social care levy, and said: “I welcome the new money for the NHS but throwing other people’s money down a bottomless pit doesn’t become a good idea if you put the NHS logo next to it.

“So if we are going to fund the NHS, if we are going to give more money, before you ask this House and us as MPs to approve it, show us the plan. We cannot measure the NHS by what goes into it, we have to measure it by what comes out of the other end and for those reasons with a heavy heart I won’t be supporting the Government this evening.”

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Labour MP Clive Efford said areas that the Government wants to level up will be “hardest hit” by the levy, with another adding that Ministers are using their backbenchers as “cannon fodder”.

Steve McCabe, who represents Birmingham Selly Oak added: “It will be those Tory MPs, hung out to dry, some of them unexpected victors in 2019, some of them quite good MPs but with small majorities, and when the emails and the messages of complaint start flooding into their offices, when the refusals to ever vote Tory again start to hit home, it won’t be the occupant of No 10 who has to suffer.”

Amid the backlash, Boris Johnson suggested the insurance industry could protect people from having to sell their homes to pay for care under the new plans.

Addressing MPs in the House of Commons he said his plan to cap care costs in England at £86,000, paid for by a new tax, would allow insurance firms to come up with products to protect people’s assets.

He explained: “This is the first time that the state has actually come in to deal with the threat of these catastrophic costs, thereby enabling the private sector, the financial services industry, to supply the insurance products that people need to guarantee themselves against the costs of care.”

However, Labour accused ministers of introducing a “tax on jobs” and a “tax on the economic recovery” as Shadow Chancellor and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said the “whole thing is unravelling”.