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Over 40s should pay new tax to cover social care costs, say MPs

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The over 40s should pay a new tax to meet the cost of elderly social care, a group of MPs say.

A cross-party report from the housing, communities and local government, and health and social care committees described the current social care system as being under “unsustainable strain”.

It said action needed to be taken to plug a £2.5bn funding gap.

The MPs called for the introduction of a ‘Social Care Premium’ either as an additional element of National Insurance or with the premium paid into dedicated not-for-profit social insurance fund.

They said a minimum earnings threshold should be set to protect people on lower incomes but pensions and investments should be included in contribution calculations.

Clive Betts MP, chair of the housing, communities and local government committee, said: “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.

“Given the huge funding gulf, the government should now take the opportunity to build both a political and public consensus around the need for a new Social Care Premium to secure a fair and sustainable system in the long-term.”

Sarah Wollaston MP, chair of the health and social care committee, said: “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 is time for decisions to be made about how the costs are shared.”

Related: See’s How to pay care home fees for more information.

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