Andy Burnham calls for higher social care tax on pensioners
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The Prime Minister faced down a threatened Tory rebellion by persuading backbenchers that hospital waiting lists already delayed by Covid would soar without the huge cash injection. MPs voted 319 to 248 to back a motion paving the way for the 1.25 percent National Insurance hike, which will eventually become the Health and Social Care Levy. A Labour amendment seeking to force Chancellor Rishi Sunak to publish assessments of the effects of the tax rise on jobs, businesses and workers was rejected by 335 votes to 243. Before the levy vote, Mr Johnson told the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers: “We are the party of free enterprise, the private sector and low taxation. We should never forget that.”
Five Tory MPs – Sir Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Neil Hudson and former ministers Esther McVey and Sir John Redwood – voted against the plan. Other Tories abstained. During the five-hour Commons debate. Jake Berry, who chairs the Tory Northern Research Group, said the “fundamentally un-Conservative” levy was “actually a Trojan horse for an NHS tax”.
And ex-minister Steve Baker said: “We are in a dreadful position…we keep doing things we hate, because we feel we must.” Dehenna Davison, who won the Bishop Auckland “Red Wall” seat from Labour in 2019, abstained, saying: “We haven’t had a great deal of time to consider these proposals.”
Earlier, Mr Johnson clashed with Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions, accusing the Labour leader of lacking alternative plans to fix social care.
The PM said: “This Government is not only dealing with that problem but understand that in order to deal with the problems of the NHS backlogs, you also have to fix social care.”
Sir Keir replied: “The Prime Minister’s plan is to impose unfair taxes on working people.”
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