Rayner Fails Eight Times to Detail Labour’s Alternative Social Care Funding Plans

It seems Sir Keir’s been so busy writing his 14,000 crēdō he forgot to use the weekend to come up with an answer to ongoing press questions about Labour’s alternative social care plan. Today listeners had the pleasure of hearing Angela Rayner squirm three times when faced with the question, diverting to the old classic, “There is [sic] a lot of ways you can do”. Guido counted eight total attempts by Martha Kearney to elicit details of Labour’s policy…

Rayner: People are actually ending up in hospital and it costs more money to put people in hospital

Martha: Indeed that’s why everyone’s agreed the system need reforming 

Rayner: But we did do that, when Labour was in government we did all of those things and we brought waiting lists down as well to an all time low…

Martha: I understand your analysis of the problems but I’m interested in your solutions! And so the government’s planning on bringing in this new levy from national insurance, would you reverse it?

Rayner: Well we’ve been clear that the government shouldn’t be breaking their manifesto promises by hitting working families with a double-whammy of the national insurance hikes…

Martha: So you’d reverse it?

Rayner: So, we would have to look at that once we were in a position of putting our manifesto forward at a general election

What a start to the week for Labour…

mdi-timer 13 September 2021 @ 09:40 13 Sep 2021 @ 09:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Declare Your Interest, Mr Johnson

Yesterday, IFS director Paul Johnson was one of a minority of wonks to praise Boris’s new social care policy, saying the “world is a better place after today”, describing it as a “progressive and broad based increase”. The PM was so happy with this review he quoted the IFS at PMQs:

“Actually, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has confirmed that this is a broad-based and progressive measure.”

The IFS’ wider response to the policy noted, “those who have more of their wealth in financial assets will continue to be penalised relative to those whose wealth is in the form of their main home – even if the latter’s wealth is much more in total.”

Among other reasons why might Mr Johnson back such a policy? A 2014 Times interview saw the IFS boss actively boasting about his impressive property portfolio:

Six-beds in Muswell Hill now sell for £2,650,000, according to OnTheMarketWhy might Mr Johnson be so supportive of a high-tax system that favours property owners?

mdi-timer 8 September 2021 @ 16:28 8 Sep 2021 @ 16:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lloyd Russell-Moyle: Labour Has a Plan How to Spend Social Care Money, Just Not How to Raise It
mdi-timer 8 September 2021 @ 13:30 8 Sep 2021 @ 13:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Wonks Outraged By Boris’s Tax Hike

As expected, wonk world is almost universally outraged by today’s announced tax rises for social care, with everyone saying essentially the same thing: it’s a tax on the young and the poor, largely for the benefit of those with the means to fund it themselves. Here’s the round-up:

  • The Taxpayers’ Alliance‘s John O’Connell: “Despite claiming to share the burden, this hike will hit low-paid workers and struggling employers hardest, laying the groundwork for more demands for cash after the next election. The government should’ve settled on a fairer and more sustainable solution for fixing social care than forever ramping up national insurance rates.”
  • The Adam Smith Institute’s John Macdonald: “Today’s announcement marks a historic betrayal from a supposedly Conservative Government that promised to not raise taxes […] It’s morally bankrupt to ask poorer workers to bail out millionaire property owners. This is a kick in the teeth for all the young working people of this country who have already been hard done by the pandemic.”
  • The Institute of Economic Affairs’ Professor Len Shackleton: “It is absurd that those over state pension age with substantial incomes and assets should not pay part of this burden because they are not currently liable for NICs. As for Employer NI, this is a crude payroll tax which discourages employment at the margin, and over time is passed onto workers in the form of lower pay.”
  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies’ Paul Johnson: “A levy of 1.25% on employee earnings and on employer wage costs (so a 2.5% overall increase in the tax rate on earnings), will raise £14 billion a year. The extension of this levy to those over state pension age and to dividends is welcome, but this remains a tax which will be overwhelmingly borne by workers with very little coming from pensioners. This continues a trend seen over many decades of the burden of tax being shifted towards earnings. The creation of an entirely new tax will mean yet more quite unnecessary complexity.”
  • The Centre for Policy Studies‘ Robert Colvile: “The pressure that Covid has imposed on the NHS is clear, as is the need for extra funding for social care – which must, as we have consistently argued, be accompanied by comprehensive reform. The Government should be praised for having the courage to grasp the nettle on this issue. There are no perfect options here – but that said, it is disappointing that ministers have chosen to stick with the Dilnot model, which entrenches housing inequalities, rather than the state pension model proposed by the CPS and Damian Green MP. The dividend tax hike, coming on top of a huge planned increase in corporation tax, will be a blow to business, the self-employed, and Britain’s tax competitiveness.”

A vote on the plan is set for tomorrow, and it looks like these cries will go unheard…

mdi-timer 7 September 2021 @ 16:09 7 Sep 2021 @ 16:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris’s Eight Week Tax U-Turn

What a difference seven weeks and five days make: in July, responding to a recommendation to introduce new anti-obesity health taxes, Boris rejected the proposals by saying he is “not, I must say, attracted to the idea of extra taxes on hard-working people”. Today in the Commons, the PM stood up and announced a National Insurance hike that will hit the pockets of those very same hard-working people. Would be helpful if there was a streak of conservative ideology guiding some of these statements and policies…

mdi-timer 7 September 2021 @ 14:07 7 Sep 2021 @ 14:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Zahawi: It’s “Arrogant” to Assume Tax Hikes Will Fix Social Care Problems

As Boris prepares to outline his plans to whack up National Insurance later today (in what’s now being spun as a ‘health and social care levy‘), vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi made the media round this morning to try and justify the move in the face of the inevitable backlash from the media, the public, and his own party. Not the easiest start to his Tuesday, Guido’s sure.

Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley, Zahawi hesitated over the effectiveness of the manifesto-breaking plans, saying:

“I think you have to at least have a really good go at making sure you fix the problem… it would be presumptuous and I think completely arrogant to say ‘of course, Kay, it will fix the problem‘… the right thing to do is to deliver the reform of social care, and the investment of social care. You’ve got to make sure that is operationalised… I think, actually, when you see the details of what the Prime Minister will set you, you’ll see that this is a Prime Minister who’s serious about fixing the problem…”

Asked later on the Today Programme whether he or even most of the Cabinet had actually seen the plan, Zahawi simply said “let the Prime Minister stand up at the despatch box and announce it“. Guido understands that in the Cabinet only the chancellor, health secretary and PM have seen the plan. Nadhim can look forward to hearing the details along with the rest of us at midday today…

mdi-timer 7 September 2021 @ 08:44 7 Sep 2021 @ 08:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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