Call to protect borough's social care providers from National Insurance hike

A call has been made for social care providers to be exempt from the Government’s new tax to fund social care in England.

National Insurance is set to rise by 1.25 percentage points from April 2022 as part of the Government’s plans to support the NHS and the social care system in England.

The move will see yearly National Insurance bills rise by roughly 10 per cent for employers, employees and the self-employed.

Councillor Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill), cabinet member for adult and social care, said the move to inject more funds into social care addresses a long-standing issue.

But he said if care homes and care providers are made to pay more in National Insurance this will have a knock-on effect on local authorities and taxpayers.

He told the Advertiser: “We have to look at an exemption for social care providers because if we don’t the cost of adult social care is going to increase because there will be a knock-on effect and that will cost local authorities and the taxpayer more.

“If the prices and the cost of the provision goes up then that is a charge for the local authority. You shouldn’t be punishing the providers of social care at a time of such financial challenge.”

Cllr Carroll said the proposed health and social care levy could create a £500,000 pressure for the Windsor and Maidenhead council.

The average life expectancy in the borough is higher than many other local authorities in the country and while Cllr Carroll described this as a ‘wonderful thing’ he added this does place additional pressures on the council to fund social care.

He has called on the Government to ensure the new funding pot is not swallowed up by the NHS and said it is crucial that the national health service works effectively alongside social care providers to provide support for those in need.

Taxpayers currently pay a portion of their council tax towards the care of vulnerable residents in a fund which is known as the adult social care precept.

Cllr Carroll said the council is awaiting further clarification from Government about how this fund will operate once the planned National Insurance rise is introduced next April.

He added: “The ultimate answer to this question isn’t to keep anchoring things on council tax. We have to make sure the funding of adult social care is progressive.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “We have taken decisive and historic action to fix the social care crisis that governments have ducked for decades - the Health and Social Care Levy will raise £12billion a year for the NHS and social care.

“Everyone is being asked to contribute, in a fair and progressive way, including businesses.

“As part of the £5.4billion package for adult social care, we're giving local authorities the funding to move towards paying a fair rate for care, which will drive up quality and improve carers' conditions.”

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