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Middle-aged Workers and Retirees to Pay More Taxes to Fund Their Social Care

According to MPs, the UK government should introduce a new tax funding for workers aged 40 years old and above, retirees and employers to cover the spiraling social and health care costs of the growing population of older people as well as those with disabilities.

The Report

The Health and Social Care Committees and the Housing, Communities and Local Government both call for the UK government to introduce a new tax fund named “social care premium” for England. The said tax fund will help address the rising social care costs on elderly people which would become “unsustainable” in the next couple of years.

Both organizations recommend the eligible age bracket in paying the social care premium to ensure fairness between generations.

The said new system also aims to ensure that every personal element of social care, like dressing, feeding, and washing, will be free to everyone who needs it, especially when workers reach the retirement age. To realize this goal, both organizations state that payments for social care premiums should start when the worker reaches 40 years old and can be extended up to 65 years old.

The Budget Cuts

For the past few years, social care suffers from government cuts, stretched services and council budgets which put a lot of pressure on the NHS to continue supporting and sustaining the aging population at home after they’re well enough to leave the hospital. According to the NHS, they would need billions of pounds to cater to the growing demand for social care in the next few years.

To address the said problem, the NHS reiterates the government should consider implementing a “social insurance system” and raise the premium payment to add home support and nursing care for the elderly while minimizing government spending. According to NHS, the social care premium could either act as an additional coverage of the national insurance or it could also act as a separate insurance system like in Germany.

Meanwhile, the MPs also recommend the money raised from the new tax funding be held in an audited fund to ensure transparency and to make sure it won’t be used in other priorities.

The Support

So far, the said proposed tax funding received strong support from the public even if they have to increase their contributions as long as there is accountability and transparency in expenditures. According to the report, the workers want to ensure the funding would not be spent for other purposes.

The MPs also adds consideration must be given to the minimum-wage earners as well as the inclusion of their unearned income like investments and contribution to determine an individual’s contribution level.

However, the government will give first priority to extend free care to those who are in dire need of social care. The MPs also recommend imposing an additional inheritance tax on workers with estates valued above the threshold to pool the risk and prevent retirees who are in dire need of long-term social care from facing “catastrophic” costs.

Support for Chang

The report also emphasizes the need for the government to unite to address the impending crisis of the financial gap and lack of social care as the current generation approaches the retirement age. This was after Theresa May attempted to reform the social care funding in the last general election. The said reform was branded as the “dementia tax” and the opponents blamed her for the disastrous loss of support for the Conservatives.

Nevertheless, Theresa May had pledged to publish their proposals to reform the social care funding this Summer, but it has been pushed back to Autumn. The Health and Social Care Committee chairman Dr. Sarah Wollaston also echoes the MPs’ sentiment and states that the government can no longer delay finding a sustainable settlement for social care. He says the upcoming generation of retirees can’t wait out any longer, nor can we stop the time to wait for the government’s proposal. She urges the government to act now to revert the crisis instead of doing nothing.

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