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Promises promises!

September 8, 2021 10:53 AM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

jh53 (Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)On becoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street and said

"And so I am announcing now - on the steps of Downing Street - that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all, and with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve."

In 2019 the Conservative Manifesto Boris gave a personal promise

"We will not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance"

And yet today the Prime Minister broke both of these promises

He announced an increase in National Insurance aimed at bringing in £12bn per year and at the same time that for the next few years most of this money will go on shortening NHS waiting lists with under two billion of the money actually going on social care against £6bn demanded by experts in the field

Even if you are very generous and accept taxes had to go up given the impact of the pandemic we should be very clear about a number of things

First there is no plan for social care despite the promise he had a plan ready to go two years ago. The money does little to better integrate social and health care, ignores the care needs of younger people in need of care and will do nothing to attract people into caring, jobs which require long hours often at minimum wage. It seems primarily targeted at protecting the ability of the rich to pass on more of their property value in inheritance after death

Secondly the decision to focus on national insurance as the means to pay for the increased spend is deigned to further tax the young who have already sacrificed a lot during the pandemic to protect the health of their elders. The well respected and independent Institute of Fiscal Studies published this chart comparing who pays what if the money is raised by NI or income tax see Pensioner families would provide ten times more of the revenue from an income tax rise than from a NICs rise - Institute For Fiscal Studies - IFS

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Not surprisingly older Conservative voters come off much better in the option chosen

Thirdly the sum raised in around £ 12bn a year. During the Brexit campaign we were promised £350m extra a week would be spent on the NHS or £15bn per year. It's strange all that increase is now being delivered by tax rises not the promised Leave dividend

Responding to the news that Boris Johnson has failed to produce a sustainable social care plan and broken his election promise not to raise national insurance, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said:
"This is yet another broken promise from the Conservatives that will hit working families hard. Boris Johnson gave voters a cast iron guarantee that he would not raise National Insurance - and now he's breaking voters' trust again.
"Even worse, the Government's plans won't fix the social care crisis. Our loved ones will still not get the quality care they need.
"This is two broken promises in one: a betrayal of taxpayers especially the low paid, young and small business and a betrayal of carers and people who need care.
"People deserve a Government they can trust, and that's clearly not a Conservative one. That's why voters across the Blue Wall are turning to the Liberal Democrats instead.