What is social care and how much is the new NHS tax?

THE House of Commons have voted 319 to 248 for a 1.25 percentage increase in National Insurance for workers and employers.

Boris Johnson hopes the tax increase – which breaks the Conservatives' manifesto pledge – will help fund health and social care.

What is social care?

Social care, often referred to as adult social care, offers support to anyone over the age of 18 who is unable to look after themselves independently.

This may refer to a physical or learning disability, or a phsycial or mental illness where individuals require practical assistance doing everyday tasks.

The daily care can involve washing, dressing, eating, and buying food and amenities.

It can also offer advice and guidance, and respite to the relatives and friends of those individuals.

How does social care work?

In England, if you have financial assets over £23,500, you will have to pay for your own social care.

If you don't meet the threshold, your care will be provided by your local council.

However, the threshold for paying for your own care is also expected to increase significantly from £23,500 to £100,000.

Types of social care and support include:

  • help at home from a paid carer
  • meals on wheels
  • having your home adapted
  • equipment and household gadgets
  • personal alarms and home security systems so you can call for help (for instance, if you have a fall)
  • different types of housing, such as sheltered housing and care homes

How much is the new social care tax?

From April 2022, National Insurance contributions will rise by 1.25% to give local authorities more money for social care and to tackle NHS Covid backlogs.

The tax rise is set to produce an additional £12bn-a-year for services in England.

Those with an annual salary of £20,000 can expect an additional yearly payment of £130 in national insurance tax.

While those earning £100,000 will pay an additional £1,130 a year.

Boris Johnson has assured people will not have to pay anymore than £86,000 over their lifetime.

What's the difference between healthcare and social care?

Social care focuses on providing assistance with activities of daily living, maintaining independence, and social interaction.

Whereas healthcare concerns the treatment, control or prevention of illness, injury, disease or disability – services provided by the NHS.

While the NHS is free for everyone, social care depends on how much money you have and your level of need.

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