The NHS will hire dozens of new executives on salaries of up to £270,000 – to make sure the new £36billion health and social care tax is spent wisely.
The revelation fuelled growing fears about where the extra cash raised by Boris Johnson’s reforms will be going.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid promised yesterday to be ‘watchful for any waste and wokery’ over the £12billion a year raised by a 1.25 percentage point increase in national insurance.
But critics slammed the creation of 42 chief executives of integrated care boards in England, whose job will be to ‘deliver joined-up services’ across the NHS and social care.
Online job adverts reveal each executive will be paid an average of £223,261.
Seven jobs are advertised with salaries of £270,000, which is 80 per cent more than the Prime Minister earns. According to the job adverts, successful candidates will need to be ‘politically astute’ and ‘actively champion diversity, inclusion, and equality of opportunity for all’.
The NHS will hire dozens of new executives on salaries of up to £270,000 – to make sure the new £36billion health and social care tax is spent wisely
The revelation fuelled growing fears about where the extra cash raised by Boris Johnson’s reforms will be going
Jake Berry, head of the Northern Research Group of Tories, said: ‘Throwing other people’s money down a bottomless pit doesn’t become a good idea if you put the NHS logo next to it.’
Another Conservative MP told the Daily Telegraph: ‘People on low salaries will have difficulty understanding why they are having to pay significantly more tax partly to pay mega salaries for these new posts.’
It comes amid warnings from economists that the NHS could swallow up most of the extra £12billion a year. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) cast doubt on the Government’s pledge to use a new levy to both tackle the NHS backlog and fix social care.
Under the plans announced this week, the NHS will get the bulk of the £36billion raised in the first three years by the tax hike, with £5.4billion for social care in England.
Seven jobs are advertised with salaries of £270,000, which is 80 per cent more than the Prime Minister earns
The balance is expected to tip towards social care in subsequent years as the £86,000 cap on costs introduced from October 2023 starts to require funding. But the IFS suggested the health service would continue to require most of the new revenue.
Research economist Ben Zaranko said: ‘The extra funding provided for the NHS will result in spending growing at 3.9 per cent a year between 2018/19 and 2024/25, exactly the same rate of growth as was planned between 2018/19 and 2023/24.
‘History suggests these plans will be topped up further. That could leave little, if any, of the tax rises available for social care.’
Mr Javid insisted the extra money would be moved from the NHS to social care. ‘It’s clear that more and more after three years will shift towards social care because, not least, by that time the money… that will go to the NHS will be able to deal with so much of the challenge they are facing around the waiting list,’ he told Times Radio.
The IFS warning came as the Resolution Foundation think-tank said the proportion of public service spending on the NHS would rise to 40 per cent by 2025, up from 28 per cent in 2004.
Its chief executive Torsten Bell said: ‘The Prime Minister has turned his back on low taxes in favour of an NHS-dominated state.’
MPs back Boris’s £12bn National Insurance raid: Commons passes social care levy plans by 319 votes to 248 as Tory rebellion fails to materialise leaving Britons facing paying highest tax burden in 70 years
- MPs have supported the Government’s NHS and social care tax rise plan by 319 votes to 248, majority 71
- Health Service will receive majority of £36bn raised by the national insurance hike over the next three years
- PM said it would help NHS fund 9m extra operations and checks before next general election
- Health bosses said it leaves a ‘significant shortfall’ and warned millions of patients will still face long delays
Boris Johnson has fended off a Tory rebellion and secured MPs’ backing for his controversial £12 billion National Insurance tax raid to pay for health and social care – despite seeing his Commons majority cut.
The House voted by 319 to 248 in favour of the 1.25 percentage point increase in NI contributions amid deep unhappiness among many Conservative MPs.
The Government’s working majority of more than 80 was reduced to 71, with a number of Tories apparently choosing to abstain while others claiming they were only voting with the greatest reluctance.
It reflected the concern within the Tory ranks that Mr Johnson was not only abandoning a manifesto promise not to raise the main rates of taxes but that he was taking the tax burden to record peacetime levels.
There was dismay also that a scheme to place a lifetime cap of £86,000 on social care costs in England would primarily benefit elderly households in the more affluent parts of the South at the expense of working families elsewhere.
Five Conservative Party members voted against the bill: Sir Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Dr Neil Hudson, Esther McVey and John Redwood.
There were 37 Tories who did not vote, including Sir William Cash, Peter Bone, David Davis and Kwasi Kwarteng.
In the Commons debate, the leader of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, Jake Berry, warned that by listing the levy on people’s payslips as a health and social care charge, it would ‘never go down, it can only go up’.
‘No party is ever going to stand at an election and say I’ve got a good idea, vote for me, I’ll cut the NHS tax,’ he said.
‘It is fundamentally un-Conservative and in the long term it will massively damage the prospects of our party because we will never outbid the Labour Party in the arms race of an NHS tax.’
Former minister Steve Baker said the party was facing a ‘generational crisis’ due to its inability to fund promises dating back more than a century.
‘Now the Conservative Party, at some stage in our lifetimes, is going to have to rediscover what it stands for because I have to say at the moment we keep doing things we hate, because we feel we must,’ he said.
Earlier at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson attempted to quell the backlash, suggesting the insurance industry could protect people from having to sell their homes to pay for the cost of care, amid claims the £86,000 cap would not be enough.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that someone with assets of £186,000 – including their home – could still be forced to find £86,000 under the Government’s proposals.
‘Where does the Prime Minister think that they are going to get that £86,000 without selling their home?’ he said.
Mr Johnson replied: ‘This is the first time that the state has actually come in to deal with the threat of these catastrophic costs, thereby enabling the private sector, the financial services industry, to supply the insurance products that people need to guarantee themselves against the costs of care.’
Boris Johnson has fended off a Tory rebellion and secured MPs’ backing for his controversial £12 billion National Insurance tax raid to pay for health and social care despite seeing his Commons majority cut
The Government’s working majority of more than 80 was reduced to 71, with a number of Conservatives apparently choosing to abstain while others claiming they were only voting with the greatest reluctance
The House voted by 319 to 248 in favour of the 1.25 percentage point increase in NI contributions amid deep unhappiness among many Tory MPs
Boris Johnson (left) clashed brutally with Keir Starmer over social care in the first PMQs since the summer break
THE TORIES WHO DID NOT VOTE FOR THE BILL
Voted against the bill:
- Sir Christopher Chope
- Philip Davies
- Dr Neil Hudson
- Esther McVey
- John Redwood
No vote recorded:
- Lee Anderson
- Stuart Anderson
- Steve Baker
- John Baron
- Jake Berry
- Peter Bone
- Sir Peter Bottomley
- Andrew Bridgen
- Sir William Cash
- Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
- David Davis
- Dehenna Davison
- Richard Drax
- Philip Dunne
- Dr Luke Evans
- Marcus Fysh
- Sir Roger Gale
- Richard Graham
- Adam Holloway
- Julian Knight
- Sir Greg Knight
- Kwasi Kwarteng
- Ian Liddell-Grainger
- Tim Loughton
- Craig Mackinlay
- Stephen McPartland
- Johnny Mercer
- Annie Marie Morris
- Dr Matthew Offord
- Andrew Percy
- Mark Pritchard
- Andrew Rosindell
- Henry Smith
- John Stevenson
- Julian Sturdy
- Tom Tugendhat
- Sir Charles Walker
The Government had announced that its £36 billion social care fund would be spent on innovation and new technology, with the investment paying for new treatments, diagnostic and surgical methods to help see more patients quickly and safely.
Boris Johnson had clashed brutally with Sir Keir Starmer over the tax rises to bail out the NHS and social care.
In bad-tempered exchanges at the first PMQs since the summer break, Mr Johnson denied that the eye-watering National Insurance rise was ‘unfair’.
He also dodged as the Labour leader goaded him that despite the massive costs elderly people still face having to sell their homes to fund care.
Mr Johnson swiped that ‘at least we have a plan’ as he tried to turn the tables on Sir Keir for failing to come up with an alternative. The clashes came ahead of a crucial vote on the policy this evening.
Earlier, Sajid Javid was forced to insist the Conservatives are still a low-tax party – even though the tax burden is due to reach the highest level in peacetime.
Labour’s amendment calling for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to publish an impact assessment of the national insurance increase was rejected by 335 votes to 243, majority 92.
The Opposition had asked for Mr Sunak to detail before April 2022 how the tax hike would affect jobs and businesses, and also the distributional impact of the measures on different income groups and regions.
Boris Johnson spent almost an hour addressing a private meeting of Tory MPs at Westminster ahead of the vote on the health and social care levy.
The Prime Minister told the backbench 1922 Committee that the Conservatives remained the party of free enterprise, the private sector and ‘low taxation’.
‘We should never forget that,’ he said.
At the same time, he said that he could not think of a ‘better use’ for public money than spending on the NHS.
Conservative MP Peter Bone called for a Social Care Bill to be placed before the Commons before agreeing to a tax rise to pay for care.
The Wellingborough MP said: ‘There should have been a Care Bill, a Social Care Bill, we should have had that Bill, we should have been able to debate the principle of that and then immediately afterwards voted on the Ways and Means. But we have got this mixed up, we are giving more money to the National Health Service.’
He added it was ‘quite acceptable’ to raise tax to pay for the NHS but added he was ‘very unhappy with the procedure’ in the Commons as MPs were ‘doing it without the detail’.
Conservative MP Richard Drax told the Commons he is concerned by the ‘direction of travel’ the Government has taken with its proposal to raise national insurance.
The South Dorset MP said: ‘Taxes are the highest for, as we have heard, 60 to 70 years, this, under a Conservative Government. For me, and I think for many of us and around the country too, the alarm bells are ringing.’
Tory backbencher Anne Marie Morris said: ‘Is there a proper plan? We have a document, it’s called the plan, but I think for me a plan is something which sets out very clearly not just ambition, and that is there aplenty, but sets out specifically what is going to be done, when it is going to be done by, who is going to be doing it, and how will – the Government in this case, and the NHS – be held accountable. What will be the reporting mechanism? And I fear I see none of that. And if I’m asking taxpayers to pay a very substantial sum, that I think is the least that we owe them.’
Conservative MP Dehenna Davison explained that she was abstaining from the vote on the Government’s social care plans because ‘I believe there are more discussions to be had to get this exact policy right for my constituents’.
PM’s £12bn tax hike ‘will be swallowed by the NHS’
The £12billion a year extra for health and social care as a result of Boris Johnson’s tax hike risks being swallowed up by the NHS, an economic think tank warned.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned that little might be left available for social care even once funding from the new levy is expected to shift away from the NHS.
Under the plans announced by the Prime Minister the NHS will get the bulk of the £36billion raised in the first three years, with £5.4billion for social care in England.
But that balance is expected to tip towards social care in subsequent years as the £86,000 cap on costs introduced from October 2023 starts to require funding.
The IFS suggested that the experiences of the past 40 years showed that NHS spending plans are almost always topped up, meaning that health would continue to require the bulk of the revenue raised by the new tax.
Ben Zaranko, a research economist at the IFS, said: ‘The extra funding provided for the NHS in yesterday’s announcement will result in spending growing at 3.9% a year between 2018/19 and 2024/25, exactly the same rate of growth as was planned between 2018/19 and 2023/24.
‘That suggests little or no long-term additional costs as a result of the pandemic.
‘History suggests these plans will be topped up further – they have been in almost every year for the last 40 years.
‘That could leave little if any of the tax rises announced yesterday available for social care.’
Health Secretary Sajid Javid insisted that ‘more and more’ of the money raised by the levy would go towards social care in future years.
The IFS said that between 1982 and the start of the pandemic, keeping to initial real-terms spending plans set out by governments would have meant health spending growing at an average rate of 2.7% per year.
But on average, it grew by 4.1 per cent per year: 1.4 percentage points, or 53 per cent, faster than planned a year previously by the ministers in charge of the public finances at the time.
The IFS acknowledged that ‘this time could be different’ and ‘with a multi-year settlement, the NHS may be able to plan and spend funds more effectively, improving health system performance and removing the need for any future top-up’.
‘But the experience of the past 40 years is that this new, shiny set of NHS spending plans should be viewed as a lower bound, not a firm set of limits.’
The Health Secretary was challenged to give a clear guarantee that money would shift towards social care in a Times Radio interview.
Mr Javid said: ‘It’s clear that more and more after three years will shift towards social care because, not least, by that time the money over the next three years that will go to the NHS will be able to deal with so much of the challenge they are facing around the waiting list.
The Government had announced that its new £36 billion social care fund will be spent on innovation and new technology. The investment, which will take place over three years, will pay for new treatments, diagnostic and surgical methods to help see more patients quickly and safely using tools such as surgical hubs, virtual wards and artificial intelligence.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the package as a way to help the NHS recover from the coronavirus pandemic and reform the adult social care system so people no longer face catastrophic care costs.
The majority of the cash is going towards the NHS, with social care receiving £5.3 billion over the next three years.
On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the new funding will see the NHS deliver an extra nine million checks, scans, and operations for patients across the country in a bid to try and drive down waiting times.
It added the new surgical hubs, already used in hospitals such as Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, would help fast-track a number of planned operations, including cataract removal, hysterectomies and hip and knee replacements.
The hubs will be expanded across the country with more expected to be set up at existing hospital sites later on in the year.
Pop-up clinics are also going to be established while virtual wards and home assessments allow for patients to be given medical support from home.
It comes after Dominic Cummings today reignited his war with Boris Johnson as he blasted the Prime Minister’s £12billion tax raid and claimed the extra cash will not solve the NHS treatment backlog.
The PM’s former top adviser said ‘No10 can’t do anything but spend’ taxpayers’ money as he said the National Insurance hike was a ‘good day’ for Labour and Tory MPs should ‘put all those ‘party of low tax’ speeches away’.
He said the PM’s plans ‘won’t solve waiting lists’ or problems in the social care system as he argued the Tories are making young people ‘work harder to subsidise older richer people’.
Mr Cummings said the tax hike comes after younger generations had already been ‘screwed by a decade of hapless Tory government’ which had left many people unable to buy a house and with lower wages.
The Health Secretary was bullish about the move in interviews this morning, arguing that smashing the Conservative manifesto promise was the ‘responsible’ thing to do in the wake of the pandemic.
Pressed on what Margaret Thatcher would have thought of the policy, he said he still has a portrait of the former PM on the wall of his office. He insisted the Tories remain the ‘party of low taxation’.
But he also admitted that the huge sums – including £30billion going into the NHS over the next three years – might not be enough to clear waiting lists. Health service bosses have already signalled they want more money, with calls for pay rises for staff.
There are claims that three Cabinet ministers challenged Mr Johnson privately over the tax rises yesterday, but there appears to be no appetite for an open rebellion – in part because the PM has been threatening a reshuffle.
In return for the big tax rise – more than £1,000 a year for some higher earners – Mr Johnson has pledged that no individual will have to pay more than £86,000 for social care after October 2023.
But there are major doubts about whether the reforms of the system will achieve, as well as fears that the NHS will simple swallow up all the funding and then demand more.
The health service will receive the vast majority of the £36billion raised by yesterday’s National Insurance hike over the next three years, with social care receiving a £5.3billion slice.
But health bosses said the settlement leaves a ‘significant shortfall’ and warned millions of patients will still face long delays.