Tory civil war: Boris and Javid go head-to-head with Rishi – Pair ‘gang up’ on Chancellor
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The Prime Minister is said to be worried about the coronavirus related hit to public finances and wants to solve Britain’s social care crisis. However, Mr Sunak, who would be in charge of imposing any new taxes, is believed to be more reluctant.
Mr Johnson may have found an ally in Mr Javid, the former chancellor who took over the Health Ministry last month.
They are considering plans for a new ‘health tax’, which would raise £10bn per year.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday a source said: “Boris told Rishi it [NHS costs & social care] had to be sorted.
“Rishi said there wasn’t enough money to cover it and the only way to fund it would be a new tax. So Boris said, ‘Fine, let’s have a new tax.’”
They added: “When the PM brought in Sajid, he told him that he had to back him against the Treasury on this, so Rishi is being ganged up on.
“We promised in the manifesto not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT.”
The Conservatives’ 2019 general election manifesto contained a pledge not to increase income tax, VAT or national insurance.
The proposed new tax would be the rough equivalent of a 2p increase to income tax.
This money would be used to clear the growing NHS backlog, caused by the pandemic, and reform social care.
Currently, 5.3 million people are waiting for operations in England alone.
Mr Javid has warned this figure is likely to rise, and could hit 13 million as the NHS buckles under pressure.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday an ally of the health secretary commented: “He sees it as, ‘The UK has maxed out its credit card’.
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“It’s not viable, you have no capacity in the system for future crises. You are too sensitive to interest rates.
“If they suddenly jump, you would end up going to Parliament saying you need to cut spending because you were left with no choice. No Chancellor wants to be at the mercy of markets.
“He thinks the Government has to get the money from somewhere to start balancing the books.”
The Prime Minister has made social care reform one of his key priorities, pledging to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” when he entered Downing Street.
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Currently, many vulnerable people are required to pay large sums to fund their care, often generated by selling their homes.
Mr Johnson is reportedly keen on proposals from Sir Andrew Dilnot, which would limit families to paying £50,000 towards social care costs before the state takes over.
However, critics argue this doesn’t take account of regional inequality within the UK.
A friend of Mr Javid warned the British economy could take a hit unless the deficit is brought under control.
They said: “While it was right to borrow to fund the pandemic, you’ve still got to remain credible to bond investors by showing you will get your finances under control.
“Because everyone knows that eventually, you’re going have to reckon with this debt, they expect future higher taxes and, as a result, Britain starts looking less attractive for investors.”
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