Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that plans to hike national insurance to pay for social care in England will disproportionately hurt young people who have already suffered as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Foyle MP raised concerns following a statement made by Boris Johnson in the House of Commons this afternoon which also suggested a Whitehall power grab that would see British Ministers ‘direct’ health spend in Northern Ireland.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“The Tory tax rise on people in Northern Ireland to pay for social care in England is not only a further assault on devolution, it represents yet another attempt to stack the scales against young people and those least able to bear additional pressure on their finances. The net result of this huge policy shift is that young tenants, unable to get on the property ladder, will subsidise the social care of well-off landlords. Those struggling to make ends meet will be forced to pay to entrench the inequalities in our society.
“The hallmark of this Tory administration is piling the pain and burden of recovery on those least able to bear it. The withdrawal of the £20 universal credit uplift, the paltry spend on education recovery, the resistance to exploring universal basic incomes and services. While Boris Johnson’s biggest personal finance concern is who will pay for his next apartment makeover, a whole generation of young people have been locked out of home ownership, saddled with enormous tuition fee loans and now they’re forced to pay more in tax to subsidise a social care crisis they had no hand in making. It is deeply inequitable.
“I also have serious concerns about language buried in the statement which suggests that British Government Ministers will direct spending to local Health Services. Health and social care is devolved in Northern Ireland and it is for our Ministers to direct spending, not detached Tories at Westminster.