Plans for social care funding reform are expected to be announced as soon as tomorrow, according to press reports.
The Government has come under pressure from within its party and from the opposition over reported plans to increase National Insurance to pay for reform, however.
Tory MP Marcus Fysh told the Sunday Telegraph: “I don’t think they should use National Insurance contributions, I think that’s a regressive way of doing it.
“I would rather do it in a straightforward and honest fashion and put it on taxation.”
Similarly, the Labour Party and unions voiced their opposition to an increase in National Insurance.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy told the BBC that the “burden of the social care crisis” shouldn’t fall on “supermarket workers and delivery drivers”, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is facing pressure to back an increase in capital gains tax to pay for the reform.
Rachel Harrison, GMB National Officer said: “We all know our crumbling social care system desperately needs more cash.
“But raising regressive national insurance – which takes money from the pockets of the lowest paid workers, is not the way to do it.
“However the cash is raised, a portion of it must be ring fenced cash to improve the pay, terms and conditions of workers across social care to reflect the skilled and valued job they do.
“The largely women workforce in social care deserve no less than the average UK wage, £15 an hour. Government and employers must make this a priority.”
Stewart Stretton-Hill, Tax, Trusts and Estates senior associate at Irwin Mitchell, said increasing National Insurance was “a spectacularly unpopular method to raise the staggering sums needed to reform social care”.
The senior associate said it would break a Conservative Party manifesto commitment and was likely to affect most those low earners who found it hardest to save for later life.
Stewart said it appeared a large proportion of the funds may be used to support the NHS, making the free care cap too high for most to afford.
He suggested the proposal put forward in a Irwin Mitchell report in February 2020 of expanding existing automatic pension enrolment with tax incentives could provide a long-terms savings scheme accessible at the point of care need.