LONDON A new tax designed to pay for health and social care was backed by the UK parliament on Tuesday despite complaints that the plans lacked details.
Boris Johnson announced last week that national insurance would increase by 1.25 percentage points to help reduce the NHS backlog in the wake of the pandemic and fund welfare reform.
The bill passed on Tuesday allows ministers to increase national insurance next year before a new tax on health care and social benefits goes into effect in 2023.
Exceptionally, MPs were asked to approve all stages of the legislation enacting the one-day levy, resulting in complaints from MPs on both sides of the House of Commons.
Tory MP John Baron said: “Many of us share concern about the haste with which this is being done,” adding that the move “would risk stifling an economic recovery, before we even learned the details with regard to social assistance reforms.
Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, said no Tory likes to raise taxes and that “if you put your hand in people’s pockets and get money out of it and they don’t see no visible improvements in the service they are receiving, they get really angry. “
Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury James Murray called the bill a “tax on workers and their jobs.”
However, Chief Treasury Secretary Steve Barclay told MPs: This is a permanent new role for government and a structural increase in the size of the UK state. So we need a new, permanent way to pay for it. “
The bill passed its final hurdle in the House of Commons by 307 votes to 251, a reduced government majority.
This article is part of POLITICSs premium police service: Pro Health Care. Whether it’s drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharmacy and more, our expert journalists keep you up to date on the topics that drive the political agenda in healthcare. E-mail [email protected] for a free trial.
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