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Will Boris Johnson will break his manifesto pledge not to increase National Insurance in order to pay for social care in England?

(203 Posts)
PippaZ Fri 03-Sep-21 12:33:00

It seems he may well do under plans that are the subject of negotiations between Downing Street and the Treasury.

It seems Downing Street wants a 1 per cent increase (because then they would only be putting up National Insurance by the same amount as Tony Blair back in 2002) while the Treasury wants 1.25 per cent (because that would raise more money). [New Statesman]

Currently, you will have your care (to the grave) paid for if you have less than £23,250 in assets. It appears the cap is to rise to £100,000: making many more people eligible for residential care.

One way or another Government will break its manifesto promise to leave National Insurance, value-added tax and income tax flat or falling. With their majority, it will pass the House of Commons. Of course, they will explain that this is NI in the hope that enough people do not realise that NI is a tax like any other.

I don't know about anyone else thinks, but if this is what they chose to do, isn't it very like TM's "death tax".

Doodledog Fri 03-Sep-21 12:55:49

I'm not sure whether this is saying the same thing in a different way, but as I read it it was not so much a cap on assets as a maximum charge that people will have to pay for care.

The issue I have with that is that it will disproportionately affect the residual incomes of those in areas of the UK where houses are cheaper, so yet again, the North/South divide will widen. £100k is going to be a much higher percentage of the estates of people in less expensive areas than of those in the SE, particularly London.

I don't know what can be done about that, really, but it would be good to see a genuine attempt to 'level up' as promised, and this may have been a vehicle with which to do it.

Otherwise, it seems a lot fairer than the current system, under which people can be completely wiped out by a care bill that is free for others. The devil will be in the detail, though.

I see that Jeremy Hunt is calling for the money to be raised from tax instead of NI, and that's probably fairer, as it will impact on all taxpayers, not just those in work, although I do wish commentators would remember that older people have already paid into the system for years - it's not as though young people are being expected to do anything we didn't.

vampirequeen Fri 03-Sep-21 13:02:44

Of course he will. Lying is his default position.

GillT57 Fri 03-Sep-21 13:09:44

He will lie, why would he change? This is just the first manifesto promise to go. Did anyone else see ITV news last night about the desperate shortage of carers? Heartbreaking. To be honest, I will be quite happy if Johnson breaks his promise as it is one he shouldn't have made in the first place. Taxes have to rise, the NHS needs funding, care needs funding, education.......

lemongrove Fri 03-Sep-21 13:20:13

Why is breaking a manifesto promise a lie, when we have just had a pandemic here which has affected the economy in so many ways ? It’s not a lie it’s what needs to happen.
I just hope Downing St is brave about it all and makes it much more than 1% 1.5 at the very least, this money is to sort out social care and also to give money to the NHS.
There can hardly be anyone who can’t see that it’s necessary.
Manifesto promises are all very well in normal circumstances, but we are far from normal circs just now.
Younger people will be old too one day, this is for society as a whole.I don’t begrudge money spent on education after all.

PippaZ Fri 03-Sep-21 13:27:29

I'm not sure whether this is saying the same thing in a different way, but as I read it it was not so much a cap on assets as a maximum charge that people will have to pay for care.

Doodledog, do you mean May's scheme was to take the first £100K while this would leave you with £100K? If that was the case it would be better than May's. However, there are still many problems with it. For a start, older people do not pay NI - unless they are suggesting changing the system and I don't know how you do that. If it was an ordinary tax it would be more progressive. It would also not be just the younger part of the population paying.

We shall see. It is only just being talked about. The leaks/briefings must have been for a purpose.

Doodledog Fri 03-Sep-21 13:27:36

The lying is another matter, though.

Whilst I am broadly in favour with a rise in taxes (I say 'broadly' until we know the detail, eg whether it will be ring-fenced), but it is not fair to get elected on a manifesto that says one thing, and then do another.

I didn't vote for Johnson, you may be surprised to learn, but if I had, particularly if tax had been the one thing stopping me from voting Labour, I would be angry. As someone who would much preferred to have seen a Labour government in power I am angry that Johnson is now adopting so many socialist policies after getting into power by saying that they wouldn't work.

Labour voters knew that taxation needed to rise, and that the 'magic money tree' was there all along, but the Tory broadcasts were all about Labour profligacy, 'how are they going to pay for it?' questions, and banging on about how Brexit would fix the NHS.

It must be a quandary now for Labour MPS - do they oppose policies that they supported in their own manifesto, or do they support the government for doing exactly what they said they wouldn't?

GrandmaKT Fri 03-Sep-21 13:29:18

I was just going to post something similar to lemongrove, though I'm sure she put it better than I could have. If the extra money is used for its stated purpose of improving social care, I have no objections. I agree that the government should be upfront about it; it needs doing.

Doodledog Fri 03-Sep-21 13:32:10

PippaZ

^I'm not sure whether this is saying the same thing in a different way, but as I read it it was not so much a cap on assets as a maximum charge that people will have to pay for care.^

Doodledog, do you mean May's scheme was to take the first £100K while this would leave you with £100K? If that was the case it would be better than May's. However, there are still many problems with it. For a start, older people do not pay NI - unless they are suggesting changing the system and I don't know how you do that. If it was an ordinary tax it would be more progressive. It would also not be just the younger part of the population paying.

We shall see. It is only just being talked about. The leaks/briefings must have been for a purpose.

No. The report I read (today's Guardian) says that there would be a cap on spending, not a cap on the amount of assets left after that spending.

As I said, Hunt is suggesting that it should come from tax, instead of NI, in order to bring in 'generational fairness'. I agree that we should all pay, so tax is a better way of bringing in the money, although setting it out in that way suggests that the young are being paid for by the old, which is only true up to a point - the old have paid in all their lives, both to pay for previous generations of old people, but also to pay for the young, many of whom also need healthcare, and all of whom need education. Young people will be old too, one day.

Smileless2012 Fri 03-Sep-21 13:35:41

Good post lemongrove. Of course he'd be criticised if he didn't do anything to try to address this matter.

As you say Doodledog "the devil will be in the detail" so we'll have to wait and see wont we.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 03-Sep-21 13:44:38

I agree with your post Lemongrove

growstuff Fri 03-Sep-21 13:47:05

PippaZ

^I'm not sure whether this is saying the same thing in a different way, but as I read it it was not so much a cap on assets as a maximum charge that people will have to pay for care.^

Doodledog, do you mean May's scheme was to take the first £100K while this would leave you with £100K? If that was the case it would be better than May's. However, there are still many problems with it. For a start, older people do not pay NI - unless they are suggesting changing the system and I don't know how you do that. If it was an ordinary tax it would be more progressive. It would also not be just the younger part of the population paying.

We shall see. It is only just being talked about. The leaks/briefings must have been for a purpose.

No, it's the opposite way round if it follows Dilnot's suggestions. May's idea was much fairer to people with fewer assets, ie with lower priced housing.

A cap of £100k means that somebody with a million pound house will only pay 50%, whereas somebody with a £200k house pays 50%.

Not only that, increasing National Insurance instead of tax places a massively unfair burden on people of working age on lower incomes. It should be a tax increase!

growstuff Fri 03-Sep-21 13:49:10

Ooops!

I meant ... somebody with a million pound house will only pay 10%, whereas somebody with a £200k house pays 50%.

growstuff Fri 03-Sep-21 13:50:50

lemongrove

Why is breaking a manifesto promise a lie, when we have just had a pandemic here which has affected the economy in so many ways ? It’s not a lie it’s what needs to happen.
I just hope Downing St is brave about it all and makes it much more than 1% 1.5 at the very least, this money is to sort out social care and also to give money to the NHS.
There can hardly be anyone who can’t see that it’s necessary.
Manifesto promises are all very well in normal circumstances, but we are far from normal circs just now.
Younger people will be old too one day, this is for society as a whole.I don’t begrudge money spent on education after all.

But you've already had money spent on your education.

growstuff Fri 03-Sep-21 13:54:51

Doodledog Younger people are being expected to pay a much higher percentage of their income on National Insurance than you ever did and they will receive less in return. Those paying into pension schemes are paying more for less too ... and that's before paying back student loans, which about half have ... and the much higher property prices and rents.

Doodledog Fri 03-Sep-21 13:55:26

growstuff

Ooops!

I meant ... somebody with a million pound house will only pay 10%, whereas somebody with a £200k house pays 50%.

Yes, and that's the bit I think is unfair. Or if not unfair, it is not going to do anything to 'level up' the geographical inequalities across the UK.

I guess the only way to be 'fair' would be to tax even more, and make it free for everyone, which is pretty much always my answer to this sort of thing.

Doodledog Fri 03-Sep-21 13:58:09

growstuff

Doodledog Younger people are being expected to pay a much higher percentage of their income on National Insurance than you ever did and they will receive less in return. Those paying into pension schemes are paying more for less too ... and that's before paying back student loans, which about half have ... and the much higher property prices and rents.

I did say I support it coming out of tax. For a number of reasons I think that is much fairer.

I was just adding that I hope this isn't going to be used as another way to foster generational conflict, as that is nowhere near as simple as it's sometimes portrayed.

growstuff Fri 03-Sep-21 14:03:31

I was agreeing with you Doodledog.

Unfortunately, it will be a political decision and the Conservatives won't want to upset their core voters, who tend to be over 45 and asset rich. Fairness will have nothing to do with it.

lemongrove Fri 03-Sep-21 14:06:15

growstuff there are many older people who didn’t have children and grandchildren but they don’t grumble about paying taxes for their education, and younger people today will one day need social care.All the divisive talk about the generations is so wrong, we do the best for society as a whole, or should do.I don’t use public libraries but am happy to pay for their upkeep.

growstuff Fri 03-Sep-21 14:22:49

lemongrove Every older person in the UK today (at least those who were born in the UK) has already had an education.

The divisive talk (as you call it) is being deliberately manufactured and exists. The vast majority of younger people will not need social care - it's pot luck. For example, I am not aware of any member of my family who has ever needed social care. The clue is in the word "insurance".

It is a fact that older people "on average" have a higher disposable income than people of working age and I believe that's wrong. National Insurance is currently 12% on incomes over £184pw. Most lower paid workers pay more in NICs than they do in income tax and NICs are capped anyway. Therefore, even a 1 or 2% increase will hit those who can least afford it hardest. Pensioners won't be affected at all and I think that's unfair. (JMO of course)

Ilovecheese Fri 03-Sep-21 14:24:47

I think it would be better to come from income tax than NI, because pensioners pay income tax as well, so would be less likely to cause intergenerational conflict, as has been said.

lemongrove I worked for the Council Tax dept of a local authority for a while. I am absolutely with you that we should all do our best for society as a whole, but you should have heard some of the people I spoke to on the phone who complained about for example:

"I don't have children, why should I pay for schools?
"I don't have a car why should I pay for road maintenance?"
"I live on a private estate, why should I pay for pavement upkeep?"

or a slightly different "I can't pay the Council Tax I am saving that money to take my husband to Tenerife!"

PippaZ Fri 03-Sep-21 14:25:08

Doodledog Fri 03-Sep-21 13:32:10

I am not sure that "the young paying for the old" or "the old paying for the young" is the problem. It is the idea that this might be happening which will be whipped up by the media and cause anger that isn't necessary and doesn't do any good.

lemongrove Fri 03-Sep-21 14:28:06

Ilovecheese that last one made me laugh😄

PippaZ Fri 03-Sep-21 14:28:51

Doodledog

growstuff

Ooops!

I meant ... somebody with a million pound house will only pay 10%, whereas somebody with a £200k house pays 50%.

Yes, and that's the bit I think is unfair. Or if not unfair, it is not going to do anything to 'level up' the geographical inequalities across the UK.

I guess the only way to be 'fair' would be to tax even more, and make it free for everyone, which is pretty much always my answer to this sort of thing.

I think, if you really want Craddle to Grave care (including Dementia) it has to come from tax and be free for everyone. However, I don't see this government taking it that far. I would be happy to say "well done" if they did.

Lincslass Fri 03-Sep-21 14:46:46

All should pay this tax, for a decent Social Service. all may need it one day. Nothing is free, we all pay for the NHS one way or another. As soon as you start working, a specific tax should be for this Social Services.. Problem started when NI contributions went into general taxation, and not kept separate for health, social services. I have worked since age 15, left school then, never claimed a thing, apart from family allowance, and I’m still paying tax. 60 years on. That money should go into providing care if it’s needed.