Andy Burnham demands 10% death tax
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Mr Burnham today repeated his hopes and plan to tax estates as a fairer means of helping fund social care. It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed he will hike National Insurance by 1.25 percent in order to pay for the costs, with tax on dividends also set to rise by 1.25 percent. This means that from October 2023, no one will have to pay more than £86,000 for care over their lifetime as part of the Government’s social care plan.
The changes will come into effect from April 2022.
By comparison, Mr Burnham’s plan would involve asking pensioners to hand over 10 percent of their estate, a strategy he said was more in line with how the country funds the NHS: everyone contributes, and everyone benefits.
When asked about this, something which has been described as the “death tax”, Mr Burnham told the Today programme: “I stand by it, I think it is a much fairer way to do this.
“I would ask all pensioners to make a contribution, so 10 percent of their estate.
“That would be to introduce the NHS principle to social care because everybody would be required to contribute and everyone would benefit.
“No one would have the threat of catastrophic costs hanging over them.”
It could spell disaster for Britain’s OAPs, as recent polls show that Labour members would prefer Mr Burnham at the helm of their party rather than Sir Keir.
According to a survey carried out by YouGov in July, 69 percent of members felt that Mr Burnham would “be a better leader than Sir Keir”.
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This coincides with an atrocious approval rating track record for the Labour leader.
Currently, 59 percent of the public think he is doing a bad job, while just 22 percent believe he is doing well.
It is a slight improvement on May, where 65 percent said they thought he was doing badly.
Things quietened down for Sir Keir after his candidate, Kim Leadbeater, secured the Red Wall seat of Batley and Spen in July.
But many were quick to note that it was not a victory as Labour held on with a majority of just 323.
Overall, the party lost 7.4 percent of the vote in a seat that it once dominated.
Yet, Mr Burnham’s popularity appears to remain strong.
This could spell disaster for OAPs if he stands by his “death tax”, something which he drew up in 2009 while Health Secretary.
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Speaking about the extra 10 percent he would ask older Britons to contribute, he told Today: “That 10 percent is a better deal than paying up to £80,000 which is what the Government might announce today.
“For the vast majority of people, they would get a piece of mind over a much lower cost.
“It is just frustrating to me that the way the Westerner’s system has never had the courage to confront this issue.
“We are in this position because of political cowardice from a generation of politicians on all sides.
“It really pains me and I appreciate the Government is trying to do something but we are being presented today with a flawed and unfair policy.”
Controversially, he added: “The older generation today never paid for social care through their taxes.
“That is why we have a problem.
“They may think they did, but of course they didn’t because social care wasn’t in the post-war settlement.
“They haven’t paid through their taxes for free social care and we have this problem of people facing catastrophic costs and losing their homes.
“It is awful to see families in that position, what I am saying is it would have made sense to bring social care within National Insurance or income tax at the very beginning but we didn’t do that so now we need to look at a different solution that is fair across the generations.”
But OAPs may rest assured yet.
Because he is Mayor of Greater Manchester, Mr Burnham cannot stand for the role of leader, despite having previously said he is there for the party if it needs him.
As The Sunday Times previously reported: “The King of the North does not have a throne.
“He has not had a seat in Westminster since 2017, meaning he cannot become leader under the party’s rules.”
Meanwhile, Sir Keir said that the Government should be asking for more from wealthier people by getting them to pay from their stocks, shares, dividends and properties.
He added that Mr Johnson’s plan ignored the problems the NHS faced before the pandemic, and that he was simply “sticking plaster over gaping wounds”.
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