MPs have voted to pass the ‘Health and Social Care Levy’ in the House of Commons, with the extra tax being passed by 319 votes to 248 (a margin of 71). This will usher in a new 1.25% tax on workers and employers, with National Insurance set to rise from April 2022. The ‘Health and Social Care Levy’ is set to be introduced in April 2023 as an extra tax, when National Insurance returns to its current rate.
The vote was sprung on MPs with just 24 hours’ notice and the Government comfortably won the vote. The Conservatives say it will bring an investment of £36bn in the health and care system over the next three years. The move to increase National Insurance goes against the Conservative previous election pledges not to raise it. The levy – unlike National Insurance – will also be paid by state pensioners who are still working.
Some criticism arose to the tax, including from Labour, who stated that the levy would be unfair towards the lower paid and younger people. Some Conservative MPs and ones from other parties also joined in the opposition to the levy. Veteran Conservative MP Peter Bone says the government was “creating a new tax…without having the detail.”
Under the plans for this further funding to health and social care, the amount individuals have to spend on their care will be capped at £86,000 – not including accommodation costs. Boris Johnson told BBC’s Health Editor Hugh Pym, that around 9 million NHS treatments could be funded by proposed government investment, but did not give details of targets.