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Paying for social care :What's your view

August 23, 2021 6:07 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

gsw1 (Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)Whilst all the political attention in the holiday season is quite rightly on the chaos in Afghanistan and the revelations that almost all those from the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, junior ministers and senior civil servants chose to be on the beach as the Taliban closed in on Kabul rather than be at their desks managing our response, it seems inevitable that attention will move back to the domestic agenda as we move into the autumn.

there are a lot of hard decisions to make which have to date been put off because inevitably there will be winners and losers as policy is settled. We are, of course, assuming our Prime Minister who is desperate to be liked can actually make such decisions

Amongst the questions to be answered are how much borrowing is acceptable and what are the priorities for spending, how do we sort the increasing trade mess that is a consequence of the Prime Ministers poorly thought through Brexit deal and what are our practical plans to deal with climate change with replacing gas boilers and more electric cars high on the agenda before Britain chairs the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November

Also high on the list is what to do to sort out social care. Over two years after the Prime Minister was elected as leader of the Conservative Party saying, memorably, that he had a plan ready to go we have still to hear what that plan is. In constituencies like ours with large numbers of retired people, what is decided really matters. With manifesto promises not to increase income tax, VAT and National Insurance and with the covid inspired explosion on state debt something has to give.

Plans to announce proposals before the parliamentary recess were cancelled after the media reported there were disagreements in government about how the proposals were to be paid for. It was believed the Treasury was pressing for an increase in National Insurance contributions but no consensus was reached and the can was kicked down the road until the autumn

As a party we instinctively feel that an increase in NI is wrong given it is paid only by those in work whilst todays beneficiaries are generally those that have retired. Having said that it is important that any proposals are funded in a sustainable way and at a level that supports those in need of care with dignity. This is too important to become a political football. We would like to know what you think about the NI funding idea. Could you let us have your views by clicking here It only takes a couple of minutes to complete