Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has denounced today’s announcement from the government of a 1.25% hike on National Insurance to pay for new social care commitments. While recognising the need for social care reforms, Mr Carmichael voiced concerns that the tax rise is regressive, falling as much on low paid workers as the wealthy, and amounted to a transfer of wealth from the young to the old.
Mr Carmichael said:
“So much for Tory election promises. Having promised no tax rises in 2019, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are now trying to balance their budgets with a huge, regressive hike on workers’ taxes to pay for social care. We wanted a social care plan – what we have got is an unbalanced scheme, robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“The problem of social care is of course a complicated one wherever you are in the United Kingdom. The idea that people could be forced to sell their homes to pay for their care is hard to swallow for those who have worked hard all their lives. The solution to that, however, is not simply to engage in a massive transfer of wealth from the young – many of whom have not been able to get on the property ladder – to the old – those who have the most assets – through National Insurance.
“What we should have seen was a genuine attempt to reach out to all parties to fix social care. We all have a vested interest in making a workable system and no one has a monopoly on good ideas. From a government that is determined to rule from on high, however, it is no wonder that we have the flimsy proposals we saw today.”