| 20 May 2024, Monday |

UK Taxpayers must pay more to fund social care, says Former Health Secretary Hunt

Former UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that taxpayers should pay more to help fund social care.

But Hunt, who managed the country’s health budget between 2012 and 2018, warned against raising national insurance or income tax.

Instead the senior Conservative MP said he favored a new “health and care premium”.

Newspaper reports have suggested the government is looking at a rise of at least 1 percent in national insurance rates.

In their 2019 election manifesto, the Conservatives pledged not to increase the rate of income tax, VAT or national insurance.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Downing Street favours a 1% rise in the national insurance rate, affecting about 25 million workers and self-employed people, as well as employers. But it says the Treasury is pushing for a 1.25 percent increase.

The Times adds that Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid wants a bigger rise of 2 percent.

Most employees pay 12 percent of their weekly earnings up to £967, with nothing to pay on the first £184.

The government said it was “committed to bringing forward a long-term plan to reform the social care system”.

In a statement, it said proposals would be set out this year.