The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday an increase in social security contributions – thus breaking a pre-election promise – in order to Health System to recover and absorb the significant delays in medical care that have accumulated during the pandemic.
Accepting strong criticism, even in its ranks conservative majority opposed to the tax increase, the head of government clarified that this increase of the order of 1,25%, which will run from April 2022, will also fund the costly care of adults in need of support, such as elderly in nursing homes.
After “the worst pandemic in a century (…) we must now help NHS [το βρετανικό Εθνικό Σύστημα Υγείας] to recover “, Johnson told the deputies, according to the APE BPE.
“We have to provide now funding in order to get there “, he added, emphasizing that the increase of social security contributions will allow them to concentrate 36 billion pounds (EUR 42 billion) the next three years, along with 5 5.4 billion in funding over the next six months.
The coronavirus, after all, greatly increased it pressure in the free public health system, which already had problems before the pandemic, with delays and chronic staff shortages, as AFP and Reuters point out in their telegrams.
More than five million people, a record number, are currently in waiting list for non-emergency medical care in England and if nothing is done, this number could reach 13 million by the end of the year, according to the government.
“I recognize that this violates a commitment of the program” presented in the context of the parliamentary elections of December 2019, said Boris Johnson. “It’s not something I do light-heartedly” but “a global pandemic is not included in any program“, He added and stressed that the virus caused problems in public finances.
The increase in social security contributions, which will apply to employees and employers, will also help fund the support of older people and adults in need of support, for example those with dementia, a reform that has been promised by successive governments in the UK.
Now, whoever has an income that exceeds 23,250 pounds (.3 23,350, according to Reuters) must take over expenses, which sometimes leads to difficult situations with some even reaching out to sell their home to ensure they get care. From October 2023 (from April 2023, according to Reuters) the medical expenditure ceiling [που θα καλύπτονται από το σύστημα υγείας] will be 86,000 pounds per person.