MP Clive Lewis criticises tax increase for health and social care

MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis

MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis has criticised Boris Johnson‘s £12 billion tax rise to pay for health and social care, calling it a “trojan horse”.  - Credit: Archant

MP for Norwich South Clive Lewis has criticised Boris Johnson‘s £12 billion tax rise to pay for health and social care, calling it a “trojan horse”. 

Mr Lewis has raised concerns about the implications of the government's health and social care levy bill on the NHS.

Under the proposals, anybody with financial assets over £20,000 is very likely to contribute to care costs from their income. 

The recently introduced Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) aim to integrate care with health services. The Health and Care Bill progressing through parliament specifies a range of measures urging integration and collaboration. 

Earlier this week, the prime minister said the introduction of the health and social care levy would produce  "profoundly conservative" outcomes. 

Questioning health and social care secretary Sajid Javid, Mr Lewis said: "One of the reasons why you have used the term' health and social care' is because what you have established here is a principle that you pay at the point of delivery.  

“As we see health and social care begin to integrate, I think the fear for many of us on this side is that this is a Trojan Horse for introducing those payments for health care for the NHS. 

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“One of my fears is that when the Prime Minister spoke of this delivering' profoundly Conservative outcomes' is just that danger itself." 

Six Conservative MPs rebelled to oppose giving the health and social care levy bill a second reading, but it still progressed to committee stage after it was backed by 317 votes to 256 - majority 61. 

Chief secretary to the treasury Steve Barclay told MPs in the Commons the levy would "provide the additional funding to the NHS so that it can recover from the pandemic". 

He added: "In addition, our social care plan will create a dramatically expanded safety net for people in their later life." 

Shadow Treasury minister James Murray said: "This Government is landing a tax rise which they claim will go towards social care on low-paid social care workers themselves. The truth is, this is a tax on working people and their jobs."