A London School of Economics-led commission has called on the government to introduce a Dilnot-style cap on care costs of £75,000, and to put 1p on income tax, national insurance and VAT to secure the future of the NHS and social care.
The report calls for £102bn funding injection for the NHS and social care over the next 10 years and a £3.2bn one-off injection in social care.
The LSE–Lancet Commission, set up in 2018 to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, also recommends making the means test for social care more generous by raising the point at which people have to pay for their own care from £23,250 to £100,000.
In the report, the commission suggest a long-term solution to NHS troubles with seven main recommendations, including “yearly increases in funding of at least 4 per cent in real terms” for health, social care and public health over the next decade.
The LSE–Lancet Commission on the future of the NHS: re-laying the foundations for an equitable and efficient health and care service after COVID-19 report published in The Lancet found the measures would improve financial protection for the most vulnerable.
The measures could be paid for by a one-off injection in social care spending of £3.2 billion in England in 2018/19 terms.
The report recommends funding for the NHS, social care, and public health should increase by at least four cent every year in real terms over the next ten years.
Co-chair of the LSE-Lancet Commission, Professor Alistair McGuire from LSE, said: “This report outlines an ambitious, long-term vision that looks beyond the election cycle. Our collective ambition should be as much about preventing ill-health and keeping people healthy as it is about treating people when they are sick.
“This means the NHS, social care and public health working in partnership with other public services, civil society and communities to improve the nation’s health, and deliver a health system that is prepared for future health shocks. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that health and national economic prosperity cannot be disentangled, and health must be a key area as we rebuild post-COVID.”
Based on tax revenue before the pandemic, the report proposes raising personal income tax, National Insurance and VAT contributions by a penny each by 2025-26, and increasing personal income tax and national insurance to two pence by 2030-31.
The changes would be phased in along with rises to several other, smaller taxes, including corporate and wealth taxes.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our NHS has faced huge challenges over the past year due to COVID-19 and we continue to support our incredible health and care staff who have kept services open for thousands of patients.
“We have made £63bn available for health services over the last year and an additional £29bn next year, including new investment to address backlogs and tackle long waiting lists which have built up because of the pandemic.
“Improving the adult social care system, including promoting integrated care, remains a priority for this government and we will bring forward proposals later this year.
“The new UK Health Security Agency has been established to protect the country from future health threats and ensure the nation can respond to pandemics quickly and at greater scale. Alongside UKHSA, the new Office for Health Promotion will promote and drive better health at all levels of government and healthcare.”