MPs to vote on National Insurance tax hike – follow live

MPs to vote on National Insurance tax hike – follow live
Follow the latest updates from Westminster and beyond


Matt Hancock heckled as he praises Boris Johnson for social care reform

The prime minister will attempt to push through his plan to fix social care on Wednesday at a snap Commons vote called just one day after the new manifesto-busting policy was announced.

Boris Johnson confirmed long-awaited proposals yesterday to raise National Insurance contributions by 1.25 per cent to deal with the NHS backlog caused by Covid, and to deliver social care reforms in England – breaking a key 2019 Tory manifesto pledge in the process.

Ahead of the vote this afternoon, Mr Johnson is expected to address the influential 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs amid rumours there are a few rebels keen to vote against him. It is thought the government will win the motion, though.

Meanwhile, social care leaders have warned that the PM’s £12bn-a-year tax raid will fail to end the crisis that has left 1.6 million elderly and disabled people without help.

Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, said this morning he is “disappointed” with the government’s plan, telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain “that the vast majority of the money that’s been allocated seems to be going to the NHS first, leaving social care with very little”.


‘Low tax Conservatism is dead,’ says ex-Labour adviser

The government’s new health and social care levy suggests “low tax Conservatism is dead”, a former Labour Party director of policy has said.

Torsten Bell, now the chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said the move marked “the biggest set of tax rises since the 1970s if you take this together with the tax rises in the March budget”.

He added that the new package also shows that “fiscal Conservatism in the Treasury is alive and well and it’s calling a lot more of the shots”.

Mr Bell added only around a fifth of the spending would go towards social care.

“Although all of the the focus in the papers this morning is about social care, actually this is much more about other health priorities,” he said.

“Only around 20 per cent of the increase in English spending that’s taking place over the course of the next three years is going on social care, that’s around £5.4bn. The rest is going into the Department for Health, either for the NHS or to pay for other priorities.”

Some of the priorities include dealing with the pandemic and continuing to pay for testing over the coming years, Mr Bell pointed out.

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 09:11

New plan helps tackle social care staff issues – Javid

Following my previous post, the health secretary was asked by the BBC how, if at all, the government’s proposals work to convince low-paid social care workers to stick at their jobs.

Sajid Javid was quick to “accept” there was a “staffing issue” in the sector but said Boris Johnson’s long-awaited plans do hope to help.

“We don’t emply [social care workers] directly through government, like we do with the NHS, so there are other ways we’re trying to influence those salaries. So, for example, through the national living wage which has risen to a record level,” he told the show.

He continued: “But in this package, what we’ve also included is this workforce training programme because what the sector has, rightly, been telling us for a long time is that they want to have a proper process of professional development.”

Watch Mr Javid’s response in full here:

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 08:53

‘No money to convince staff to say,’ says care association

The government’s social care plans do not do enough to help retain staff in the sector, Joyce Pinfield, of the National Care Association, said.

Asked if anything in the programme could make staff stay on, she told BBC Breakfast: “There doesn’t seem [to be] any immediate help for the care sector. This is what we desperately need, we are at a critical point at the moment.

“We have over 100,000 vacancies in the workforce in social care and this is just getting greater on a daily basis. It’s exacerbated, of course, by Brexit, by EU workers going back and then not returning and if we want to bring people in from abroad to work in the sector we have to go through many hoops.”

Ms Pinfield said the plan is simply “not helping us in any way to increase the workforce” which, in turn, means the sector is unable “to make sure that we can give a good quality of care”.

“At present we are losing quite a number of our staff going to the NHS. The NHS is valued more, their pay is more and so it is very attractive to our care workers at present to move from social into the NHS or even into other sectors, where they don’t have the responsibility such as hospitality and retail sectors.”

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 08:41

Health sec unable to confirm £12bn-a-year tax rise ‘enough’ to save NHS

More from Sajid Javid now, after the health secretary was unable to guarantee that the £12bn-a-year tax hike announced by Boris Johnson would be enough to clear NHS backlogs.

Asked by Sky News if the sum was the right amount, Mr Javid said “I think this is enough money” for the NHS and adult social care system, but added: “The NHS is the biggest universal health service in the world, it’s always had challenges for as long as I can remember.”

Covid-19 was “the biggest challenge in living memory” for the health service and, as a result, waiting lists were currently at 5.5 million but could rise to 13 million without action, he added.

Asked if the money would clear the backlog, Mr Javid said: “No responsible health secretary can make that kind of guarantee.”

He added: “What I can be absolutely certain of is that this will massively reduce the waiting list from where it would otherwise have been.”

<p>Javid spoke to Sky News’ Kay Burley this morning</p>

Javid spoke to Sky News’ Kay Burley this morning

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 08:27

Javid says it was ‘difficult’ to break Tory manifesto over NI hike

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, has said it was a “difficult decision” for senior ministers to commit to raising National Insurance taxes in order to pay for social care reforms.

He said the government acknowledged, and “admitted”, that it “made a promise in the manifesto” but that there was no way to know a global pandemic was on its way at that point.

“My choices at that point are to either say, ‘we made a promise, let’s doggedly stick to it’ or we can just confront the problem, be honest with the British public and make that difficult decision,” he told BBC Breakfast.

“As a government you can either stand back and leave it as ‘business as usual’, or you can address it and help tackle these challenges.”

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 08:17

Social care sector ‘disappointed’ about NHS-first funding

The social care industry has launched an attack on the government this morning, claiming the majority of funds discussed for “social care reforms” are actually being given to the NHS to deal with the Covid-caused backlog.

Mike Padgham, chairman of the Independent Care Group, has said he is “disappointed” with the government’s plan for social care reform, telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain he has concerns over the pace of the funding.

“I’m disappointed that the vast majority of the money that’s been allocated seems to be going to the NHS first, leaving social care with very little,” he told the morning programme.

“The social care sector is on its knees at the minute. Yes, I do welcome the extra money. But local authorities do need more support and much of the money, I’m worried in the future, will it ever actually come to social care? Because we’re talking three years down the road and we might have an election at that time, so it’s very concerning.”

Mr Padgham credited the government for “actually tackling (social care reform)”, but said he “isn’t sure” ministers have “really got to grips” with how much “difficulty” the sector is in.

“But it’s just the start of the discussion. We have to keep lobbying. We have to make sure social care is at the top of the list, because it is very much underfunded,” he said.

“And obviously, if the social care sector is not strong, it affects the NHS. So that’s the problem with this plan I feel. Yes, the NHS deserves more money, but unless social care is there to help support the NHS … then it doesn’t go anywhere.”

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 08:12

Experts warn PM his tax raid will fail to end social care crisis

Social care leaders are warning that Boris Johnson’s £12bn-a-year tax raid will fail to end the crisis that has left 1.6 million elderly and disabled people without help, after most of the cash was diverted to the NHS.

Even as the PM’s manifesto-busting plan appeared to win over Tory MPs – who are expected to back it in a rushed vote on Wednesday – it was met with an angry backlash from councils and charities.

They warned local authorities would continue to be starved of the billions needed to provide adequate care for people in their own homes, a verdict backed by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). “It is clear that the extra funding will not be sufficient to reverse the cuts in the numbers receiving care seen during the 2010s,” the think-tank said.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick reports:

Boris Johnson warned his £12bn-a-year tax raid will fail to end social care crisis

‘It is clear that the extra funding will not be sufficient to reverse the cuts in the numbers receiving care seen during the 2010s’

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 08:03

MPs to take part in snap Commons vote on social care

A snap vote on Boris Johnson’s newly-announced social care plan will dominate Wednesday’s schedule at the House of Commons.

The chamber’s rota for today does not specify the vote’s time, just that it will be debated and take place some time after 12.40pm.

Despite various Tory backbenchers making their grievances with the manifesto-breaking policy known, former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said he thinks the government will win the vote.

He told the BBC: “I can’t really imagine any backbenchers wanting to turn round to their own constituents and say they tried to vote down extra money for the NHS and care system.”

Meanwhile, a No 10 source told The Independent yesterday the government is “confident” the Commons will back the new “health and social care levy”.

A YouGov poll published last night found voters were split in their views on the national insurance rise.

Some 44 per cent of those surveyed supported the move, while 43 per cent were opposed. Among Conservative voters there was 59 per cent support and 34 per cent opposition, while only a third of Labour supporters backed the move, with 55 per cent in opposition.

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 07:59

Good morning, and welcome to The Independent’s rolling UK politics coverage. Stay tuned for the latest updates as MPs are set to vote on Boris Johnson’s proposed tax hike to pay for social care reforms.

Sam Hancock8 September 2021 07:47


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