Monday 27 July 2020 8:38 am

Over-40s to pay more tax under plans to solve social care crisis

Over-40s will be forced to pay more tax or national insurance under radical new plans being considered by ministers to solve the social care crisis, according to reports.

Under fresh government plans, everyone under the age of 40 will have to start contributing towards the cost of care in later life, or be compelled to take out insurance to pay hefty bills racked up in old age, the Guardian reported.

Read more: All care homes residents and staff to be tested for coronavirus by early June, health secretary says

The plans, being reviewed by the Prime Minister’s new health and social care taskforce, would mean money raised would be used to pay for washing, dressing and stays in care homes for the elderly.

It is thought the proposed changes are emerging as the government’s preferred solution to the social care crisis, after Boris Johnson last year promised to fix it “once and for all”.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock is said to be a keen advocate of the plan, after voicing his support in recent discussions about the government’s proposals to overhaul social care. 

It comes as care homes have borne the brunt of coronavirus, with the pandemic estimated to have caused around 30,000 excess care home deaths over the past few months.

A coalition of English councils today urged ministers to publish a timetable for “radical” changes to social care before parliament returns from summer recess in September

The coalition of more than 30 organisations, led by the Local Government Association, said proposed changes to the public health system must acknowledge “the importance of social care’s local dimension”.

Last month the PM said ministers were “finalising plans” to overhaul the social care system, after extensive lobbying for it to be merged with, or treated on the same plane as, the NHS.

 “We will end the injustice that some people have to sell their homes to finance the costs of their care while others don’t,” said Johnson.

Read more: Boris Johnson accused of misleading the House of Commons on care homes

The government is said to be basing its social care funding model on those of Japan and Germany.

In Japan everyone starts contributing to social care costs once they reach 40. Meanwhile in Germany, everyone starts paying into a fund from the time they start working, while pensioners contribute too. Currently 1.5 per cent of every person’s salary, and an identical sum from employers, is safeguarded to pay for care in later life.

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