‘How will you explain’ Jo Coburn erupts at Labour MP for plans to vote against NI tax hike
Shadow health minister confirms Labour will vote against NI hike
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Boris Johnson announced a £12 billion-a-year tax raid as his Government broke two major manifesto commitments in a day. The Prime Minister said a new health and social care levy, based on a 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance contributions, was “the reasonable and the fair approach”. But the Labour Party has insisted they will vote against the proposal.
Speaking to BBC Politics Live, Mr Norris said: “We’re voting against it. There’s no way we could vote for the biggest tax increase on working families in 50 years for purposes frankly unclear.
“Helen Whately has said what Boris Johnson wouldn’t say today and that’s this isn’t about social care at all.
“A tiny fraction is for social care. It is money for the NHS because of 10 years of starving the NHS.
“Of course we can’t support that.”
Ms Coburn hit back: “How are you going to explain to constituents in the post-Covid world that you are not going to back £12million of funding going back into the health service and social care?”
Mr Norris continued: “First of all we will explain why we’re in this situation and the government wants to hide behind a pandemic but these waiting lists were growing pre-pandemic.
“That’s because for 10 years rather than going growth, growing the tax base of this country so that we could pay for our public services as normal; the government pursued an austerity economics plan that starved our NHS.”
Ms Coburn interjected: “On the basis of that, why wouldn’t you back more funding?”
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Mr Norris added: “We do want more funding, of course. We’ve said that.”
It comes as the Prime Minister was pressed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in the Commons over how his plan could meet the Tory election pledge that nobody should be forced to sell their house to pay for care.
Mr Johnson said his plan to cap care costs in England at £86,000, paid for by a new tax, would allow insurance firms to come up with products to protect people’s assets.
Questions over how the new scheme will operate came as the Resolution Foundation economic think tank criticised the plans for being unfair across the generations and offering more benefits to wealthy southern households.
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As MPs packed into the Commons for the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, Sir Keir said: “Someone with £186,000, if you include the value of their home – that is not untypical across the country in all of your constituencies – facing large costs because they have to go into care, will have to pay £86,000 under his plan. That is before living costs.
“Where does the Prime Minister think that they are going to get that £86,000 without selling their home?”
Mr Johnson said: “This is the first time that the state has actually come in to deal with the threat of these catastrophic costs, thereby enabling the private sector, the financial services industry, to supply the insurance products that people need to guarantee themselves against the costs of care.”
Asked later whether this meant the Government would encourage people to take out insurance so they would not have to sell their home to pay for care, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The private insurance market will now have the ability, because of the certainty provided, to come forward.
“It’s not for me to say what actions they will take.”
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