Jennifer Johnston, occupational disease team associate at law firm BLM, pens a critique of the government’s plans to boost social care funding through an increase in national insurance contributions.
On 8 September, the government announced a manifesto-busting tax increase that would fund social care reforms and solve the NHS backlog caused by Covid-19. Across social care, the announcement of extra funding has met a positive reaction, with many hoping it will help to solve the many problems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic and have now reached a critical point.
With a death toll now in excess of over 40,000 residents, the government’s poor handling of care homes throughout the pandemic is well documented and scrutiny over the future of social care has intensified. Given its reputation to-date, many have approached the Prime Minister’s announcement with caution, raising questions of how the investment will be effectively utilised, especially over issues that cannot be solved solely through increases in funding.
In his statement to the House of Commons, the Prime Minister referred to the pandemic as having highlighted problems in social care, saying that at the outset of the pandemic there were 30,000 patients occupying hospital beds that could have been better cared for elsewhere.
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