Two influential House of Commons’ committees called for the introduction of a social care premium, which would also see retirees made to pay if they have lucrative pensions or investments.
The money generated through the proposed premium would be used to ensure that everyone gets the support they need in old age.
Only the poorest people currently receive assistance towards the costs of social care, which is usually provided in individuals’ homes or care homes.
The new tax would reform the current system which has been described by the report as “under a very great, unsustainable strain” and “not fit to respond to the demographic trends of the future”.
The report also highlights the need to plug an estimated £2.5 billion funding gap in 2019/20, at which point, wider reforms of the social care system are expected to be rolled out.
Speaking about the issue, Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health and social care committee, commented:
“We can no longer delay finding a fair and sustainable settlement for social care. Too many people are being left without the care and support they need and it’s time for decisions to be made about how the costs can be shared.
“Doing nothing cannot be an option.”
Clive Betts, chairman of the housing, communities and local government committee, added:
“We heard during the inquiry that people would be willing to pay more if there was an absolute guarantee that the extra money would go on social care. The social care system is in a critical condition and there is an urgent need for more funding both now and in the future to ensure people are properly looked after.
“Reforms at a local level will not be enough if we are to provide high-quality care for all those that need it.”
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