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New tax proposed for the middle-aged middle-class

04 Sep 2014

The independent Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England has released a major review, with recommendations for overhauls to many aspects of health and social services.

A key measure proposed is taxing the middle-aged and middle-classes in order to provide them with free care in old age. This health care, it says, could be provided for an extra £5 billion per year, effectively doubling current NHS expenditure on care for the elderly.

Under the current system, individuals in England and Wales with assets over £23,250 (including their home) receive no state support towards their care. It is thought that this system costs the taxpayer more, since elderly people without sufficient care can end up with worse frailties and in need of more extensive medical treatment.

The report also included proposals for making those who work past retirement age pay National Insurance, and charging those currently in NHS care homes for their accommodation.

The report said: ‘We do not pretend any of these choices will be easy’.

The commission was backed by health thinktank the King’s Fund, and chaired by former Monetary Policy Committee member Dame Kate Barker.