Everyone over-40 could face higher taxes to help fund cost of their social care in old age
EVERYONE over the age of 40 could have to pay extra taxes to help fund the cost of their social care in old age.
Under proposals being looked at by ministers, the PM is considering radical action to try and solve the ongoing issue of how to pay for care for the country's ageing population.
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Boris Johnson vowed to fix the problem during last year's election, and insisted that he wanted to find a cross-party solution to the care crisis which has dogged various government for years.
During the election campaign Mr Johnson had promised to start cross-party talks within 100 days of being returned to No 10.
Speaking this year he added: “This has been shirked by governments for about 30 years.
“Now we have the majority we need, we’re going to get on with this so people can get the care they need in their old age but don’t have to sell their home.”
He promised that in future no one would have to sell their home to pay for social care, but has failed to spell out how it will be funded.
Under the plans, which as said to be supported by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, over-40s would have to pay more in tax or national insurance.
They could also be made to get insurance against the huge bills people face when they grow older.
The money would be put towards social care budgets, or cover stays in care homes.
One source told The Guardian: “The latest thinking is that there’s a preference for some sort of Japanese-style model where once you are over 40 you start paying into a central risk pool. They are deadly serious about that.”
But the Department for Health said the Treasury would decide the best way of allocating funds.
Pensioners currently must pay the full cost of their social care until their assets, including the value of their home, fall to £23,250.
Japan and Germany both fund social care for their populations in a similar way.
In Germany 1.5 per cent of every person’s salary, and a further 1.5 per cent from employers or pension funds, are ringfenced to pay for care.
A Whitehall source said there was a fresh focus on coming up with ideas to solve the social care crisis.
They said: “As we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic some of the issues that were put on pause during it – like obesity and social care – have come back on stream. The social care problem has been around for ages and there is a renewed focus now on getting it fixed.”
The proposed plan would see the over-40s, including pensioners, paying into a ring-fenced pot for social care which would then give handouts to the elderly and disabled receiving care.
This would take the pressure off when it came to paying for carers.
When the idea was mentioned at a Commons Communities Committee in 2018, Mr Hancock admitted he was “attracted” to the idea.
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