Wales first Minister Mark Drakeford has said that an income tax rise to pay for free social care in Wales needs to be re-examined, and that tax and public spending changes at a Westminster level “strengthened” the case for re-considering a specific social care tax.
Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price said introducing a tax was an option to provide long-term sustainable funding for adult social care social care.
As part of a Labour-Plaid Cymru Senedd deal, both parties seek to provide a free National Care Service, and aims to provide an implementation proposal for a free social service by the end of 2023.
A joint effort between Plaid Cymru and Labour could see the creation of a free social care system in Wales by as early as late 2023.
At a news conference at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, Mr Drakeford also said he believes the case “has strengthened for us going back” to look at options for a social care levy “to see whether it offers us an alternative way of resolving some of these dilemmas in Wales”.
Speaking at the news conference, Plaid Cymru’s leader Mr Price said:
“We’ve basically had Westminster for more than a decade continually moving in circles, U-turn after U-turn, no progress.
“What I think we have to conclude is if we wait for Westminster to come up with a sustainable solution to their social care challenges, then we will be waiting possibly forever.”
Mr Price added: “I do think we need to revisit some of the ideas which were proposed earlier stages by Professor Holtham to see if that is the way forward on a sustainable basis for the kind of National Care Service that we want to create.”.