Boris Johnson was urged last night to ‘bite the bullet’ and finally announce his long-awaited social care reforms amid rising hopes they could be finalised in days.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are thought to be close to a deal to cap social care costs, the last details of which insiders believe could be ironed out this week.
This would resolve the sticking point between No 10 and the Treasury over the huge cost of the reforms.
It is understood the £10billion cost will be met through an increase in National Insurance contributions of 1p on both employers and employees.
This rise, which will be dubbed a ‘health and social care levy’, could also be charged on working pensioners for the first time.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are thought to be close to a deal to cap social care costs, the last details of which insiders believe could be ironed out this week
The Prime Minister hopes to be able to unveil the new plan some time between the return of Parliament next week and the Tory conference in early October.
It comes two years after Mr Johnson pledged to ‘fix social care once and for all’ in his first speech as Prime Minister, following a major Daily Mail campaign on the crisis.
Last night Sir Andrew Dilnot, author of a landmark review into social care costs, said: ‘This is a critical issue. Covid has underlined how desperately we need reform, so let us hope that something generous is coming soon.
‘Reform and adequate funding are long overdue, and we desperately need action now. It’s time to bite the bullet.’
A move to raise National Insurance would be controversial as Mr Johnson stood on a manifesto in 2019 not to increase it.
It is believed the PM – who is determined to ensure no one has to sell their home to pay for care – has been pushing for the cap to be set at £50,000.
At present, people have to pay the full cost of their care until their assets, including the value of their home, fall below £23,250.
A Government spokesman said: ‘We are committed to bringing forward a long-term plan to reform the social care system and we will set out proposals this year.’
Source: Daily Mail UK