Social Care: Boris Johnson's plans backed by Cabinet

Downing Street door
Downing Street door

'There was strong agreement that this is a long-standing issue'

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The Cabinet has backed Boris Johnson’s plans to reform health and social care funding, even though they are expected to involve a manifesto commitment-busting tax rise.

The Prime Minister will set out in the Commons later how he aims to tackle the social care crisis in England, with the risk of a Tory backlash if he raises National Insurance to pay for the reforms.

The tax hike, thought to be about 1.25 percentage points, will raise around £10 billion, which will be spent on the NHS as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as to help people avoid crippling adult social care costs.

Ministers, who had been largely kept in the dark about details of the proposals, were briefed during the first in-person Cabinet meeting held in Downing Street this year.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Cabinet agreed to the proposals set out.

“There was strong agreement that this is a long-standing issue, particularly on the social care side, which had been ducked for too long and which needed to be addressed.”

Mr Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid updated Cabinet ministers on the package.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said they set out the plan to tackle Covid backlogs in the health system, reform adult social care and “bring the health and social care systems closer together on a long-term sustainable footing”.

The spokesman said: “Cabinet agreed the challenges faced by our NHS and care sector are closely linked, and a lack of integration means people are often stuck in the wrong care setting.

“The Prime Minister highlighted that under the current care system, anyone with assets over £23,350 pays for their care in full, which can lead to spiralling costs with around one in seven people now paying over £100,000.

“The Prime Minister said that the changes he will announce today will fix this problem, which is causing chronic and unfair anxiety for millions of people up and down the country.”

Under current arrangements, anyone with assets over £23,350 pays for their care in full, but No 10 said the costs were “catastrophic and often unpredictable”.

Ahead of his Commons statement, Mr Johnson said: “We must act now to ensure the health and care system has the long-term funding it needs to continue fighting Covid and start tackling the backlogs, and end the injustice of catastrophic costs for social care.