Intended for healthcare professionals


Health and social care tax to be introduced across UK

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: (Published 08 September 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2207
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

The prime minister has announced a UK-wide “health and social care levy” to fund NHS backlogs resulting from the covid pandemic and to overhaul social care.

The plan has been criticised for placing a greater burden on young adults and the lowest paid and for failing to tackle the issue of low pay among care workers. Think tanks have also pointed out that the vast majority of the funds raised will go directly to the NHS, with little left over for social care.

From April 2022 national insurance contributions will rise by 1.25 percentage points for employees and employers, and there will be a 1.25 percentage point rise in the tax on share dividends. From April 2023 the rises will stay the same but will be labelled as a health and social care levy and appear as a separate line on payslips. The levy will be extended at this point to cover pensioners who are still in work. The plan is due to be voted on in parliament on Wednesday 8 September.

A 1.25 percentage point increase to national insurance would mean someone on a £30 000 salary would pay an additional £255 a year.

Much of the revenue initially will be devoted to cutting waiting lists in the NHS, with social care receiving only £5.4bn …

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