The United Kingdom Government has released a new plan for health and social care, Build Back Better, which it said would tackle the National Health Service’s (NHS’s) Covid backlogs , reform adult social care, and bring the health and social care system closer together on a long term, sustainable footing.

To fund the plan, the UK Government would also introduce a new Health and Social Care Levy on working adults and an equivalent rise in the rates of dividend tax.

Speaking in the House, UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:

You can’t fix the Covid backlogs without giving the NHS the money it needs. You can’t fix the NHS without fixing social care, you can’t fix social care without removing the fear of losing everything to pay for it, and you can’t fix health and social care without long-term reform. The plan I am setting out today will fix all of these problems together.

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

We’re tackling the NHS backlog and taking decisive action to fix our broken social care system.

This significant £12bn-a-year long-term increase in public spending will improve people’s lives across the UK – but our health and social care systems cannot be rebuilt without difficult decisions.

The new Health and Social Care Levy is the necessary and responsible thing to do to protect the NHS, sharing the cost between businesses and individuals and ensuring those earning more pay more.

From April 2022, the Government will introduce a new, UK-wide 1.25 per cent Health and Social Care Levy, ringfenced for health and social care. This will be based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) and from 2023 will be legislatively separate.

To ensure everyone contributes fairly, all working adults, including those over the state pension age, will pay the levy and the rates of dividend tax will also increase by 1.25% to help fund this package.

Employers, who benefit from a healthy workforce and a tax-payer funded health service, will be asked to contribute so the costs are more widely shared.

This will raise around £12 billion in extra funding per year, to be invested in frontline health and social care across the UK over the next three years.

The new funding is expected to fund an extra 9 million checks, scans, and operations. The NHS long term plan committed to increasing activity year on year. In recognition of pressures from Covid, this will now increase to 110% of the planned activity levels by 2023/24.

UK Government Policy Papers

Build Back Better: Our Plan for Health and Social Care

Health and Social Care Levy


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