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Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, responds to the Government’s new Plan for Health and Social Care announced today.

Ryan Shorthouse, Chief Executive of Bright Blue, commented:

“With the furlough scheme and now this new Health and Social Care Levy, the Conservative Government is increasingly shifting to socialising the costs of life risks away from individualising them. This is a somewhat surprising intellectual development for a centre-right party, to say the least.

“Considering the substantial additional money that the Government now wants to spend on the NHS and social care, the Prime Minister is probably right that, if it is to be done through tax rises, then only changes to one of the three major taxes – Income Tax, National Insurance or VAT – will be sufficient. Choosing NI means this new tax falls on younger, working-aged people, even though those who have retired will disproportionately benefit from the new funding in the short-term. Applying the levy to dividends does make it fairer, but then the Government could have broadened it further, to include pension and rental income too.

“The big, unanswered question is whether this money will be well spent. State social care needs an urgent injection of funding, to boost pay and conditions, but it seems the majority of the funding for social care is for transferring the costs of it from individuals to the collective, through an increase in the floor and cap on care costs. A raised, tapered floor is welcome, since it will really help those with modest means, but the cap is very generous, which will disproportionately benefit asset-rich families, whose large inheritances will now be better protected by working-aged taxpayers.”

To arrange an interview with a Bright Blue spokesperson or for further media enquiries, please contact Joseph Silke at joseph@brightblue.org.uk or on 07948 420 584.

 

[Image: Dominik Lange]