Conservative MPs from area back Boris Johnson's controversial £12bn tax hike to pay for health and social care in House of Commons vote

PRIME minister Boris Johnson has secured MPs’ backing for his controversial £12bn tax hike to pay for health and social care despite a series of Tories refusing back the measure.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 9:47 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at the House of Commons, London. House of Commons/PA Wire

The House of Commons voted by 319 to 248 in favour of the 1.25 percentage point increase in national insurance contributions amid deep unhappiness among some Conservative MPs.

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The vote left the government with a majority 71, in the chamber. But the division list only showed 317 MPs in favour of the motion.

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All Conservative MPs from the area – including Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North; Caroline Dinenage, Gosport; Alan Mak, Havant; and Suella Braverman, Fareham – all backed the vote.

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South, voted against the motion.

The vote reflected concern within the Tory ranks that Mr Johnson was not only abandoning a manifesto promise not to raise the main rates of taxes but that he was taking the tax burden to record peacetime levels.

There was dismay also that a scheme to place a lifetime cap of £86,000 on social care costs in England would primarily benefit elderly households in the more affluent parts of the South at the expense of working families elsewhere.

Earlier at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson attempted to quell the backlash, suggesting the insurance industry could protect people from having to sell their homes to pay for the cost of care, amid claims the £86,000 cap would not be enough.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that someone with assets of £186,000 – including their home – could still be forced to find £86,000 under the government’s proposals.

‘Where does the prime minister think that they are going to get that £86,000 without selling their home?’ he said.

Mr Johnson replied: ‘This is the first time that the state has actually come in to deal with the threat of these catastrophic costs, thereby enabling the private sector, the financial services industry, to supply the insurance products that people need to guarantee themselves against the costs of care.’

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