More tax rises needed

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Further tax rises needed to tackle the health and social care crisisThe Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that the £12bn tax rise is only sufficient to fix the immediate shortfall faced by the health service as it emerges from the Covid pandemic. The IFS said that the health and social care levy - set at 1.25% on top of National Insurance, and due to take effect in April - may need to more than double to 3.15% from as soon as 2025 to raise a further £19bn. Meanwhile, senior Conservatives have warned Boris Johnson that his “regressive” hike in taxes will not solve the problems in social care but will punish businesses. Conservative former cabinet minister Lord Forsyth of Drumlean said: “I very much welcome the Prime Minister’s determination to fix social care. This [Health and Social Care Levy Bill], however, does not do that.” He added: “What it does do is massively increase the regressive nature of the taxation system because it places the burden on those who have least, not those who have most.” Other peers also raised concerns over the rise to National Insurance Contributions and the burden it would place on business and those on low pay. Despite the complaints, the House of Lords approved the legislation.

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