What do Boris Johnson’s social care reforms mean for Wales?

  • Watch as Adrian Masters explains the impact the announcement will have in Wales

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a hike of National Insurance by 1.25 percentage points and dividend tax to fix social care in England.

He said the additional revenue would pay for the biggest catch-up programme in the history of the NHS in England, with £12 billion a year to help deal with the backlog of cases built up during the pandemic.

It will also cover the reform of the social care system in England, ending what Downing Street described as “unpredictable and catastrophic” care costs faced by many families.

But how does this affect Wales? Political Editor Adrian Masters explains.

The Prime Minister’s announcement will only change the system in England, but will lead to changes here in Wales - and will directly affect everyone here who pays National Insurance. 

The UK Government said the increased spending resulting from the rise will mean that by 2024-25 Wales will get an extra £700m at least in that year.

Some of it will go directly to the NHS in Wales because it comes from National Insurance contributions, but some of it will go to the Welsh Government who can decide how to spend it. 

There has been no official comment from ministers in Cardiff yet, but the First Minister and others have been clear that they were waiting to see these plans and the funding connected to them.

Under the changes announced by the PM, in the future in England people shouldn’t expect to pay more than £86,000 for care. They will pay in full if they have assets - i.e. savings and house value - of more than £100,000.  

That is a huge change from the current system in England where people are only eligible for help if they have less than £23,500 in assets. 

As things stand, here in Wales, if you need care at home there's a cap on how much you can be charged. You shouldn't pay more than £100 a week.

If you need residential care and the value of your home and your savings add up to less than £50,000, you won't have to pay for care.

But if the value of your house and your savings add up to more than £50,000, you have to pay in full.

Local authorities have to ensure you keep at least £33 a week for personal items.

In Scotland, currently personal and nursing care is free but you have to pay in full if the value of your home and savings add up to more than £28,750.

The increase in national insurance will have a direct impact. 

Boris Johnson has announced a tax rise to fund social care

National insurance is a tax paid by anyone who works and their employers, that funds the benefits and pensions which are paid out every year.