Andy Burnham urges Labour to present alternative plan for social care

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
17:51pm, Thu 09 Sep 2021
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Andy Burnham has warned that Labour has no time to waste in setting out an alternative to Boris Johnson’s plan for social care.

Writing for the Evening Standard, the mayor of Greater Manchester slammed the Prime Minister’s plan unveiled this week as failing the intergenerational test.

But he said it was not enough for his party simply to criticise, and that alternatives must be produced.

He said it presented the “biggest opportunity Labour has had for some time to present a plan for a better, fairer country”.

“My advice to my party would be not to leave it too long before presenting one. Criticism of the Tory plan alone won’t cut through unless we say what we would do,” he wrote.

Labour has been criticised for opposing the Government’s plans while not putting forward any proposals of their own on how to fix the social care crisis.

Here’s Labour’s opportunity to end this injustice once and for all and extend the NHS principle to social care

On Wednesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told MPs during PMQs: “His (Boris Johnson’s) plan is to impose unfair taxes on working people, my plan is to ensure those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share.

“The truth is his plans don’t do what he claims. People will still face huge bills, many homeowners will need to sell their homes, he’s not denying it when he could have done.”

Mr Burnham, who first proposed a levy when he was health secretary more than a decade ago, said he would also introduce “a range of wealth taxes – such as a higher rate of capital gains tax”.

He added: “Here’s Labour’s opportunity to end this injustice once and for all and extend the NHS principle to social care. It should create a National Care Service. Labour should ask all older people to contribute, whether they need care or not.”

In an interview with Sky News, Sir Keir said he was looking at the various options for “a wealth tax in the broadest sense of the word” but gave little detail as to how it would work.

“I would say that those with the broadest shoulders should pay. That means those that earn their money or their income from things other than work should pay their own share,” he said.

“People who earn their money from property, dividends, stocks, shares – they should all be looked at as a broader, fairer way of raising taxes.”

Asked if he favoured a wealth tax, he said: “Yes, all of those options are a wealth tax in the broadest sense of the word, and we should look at it.”

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