House of Commons on Tax Hikes: Johnson’s Risky Game with the NHS

Status: 08.09.2021 3:04 p.m.

British Prime Minister Johnson wants to pump the equivalent of 14 billion euros per year into the ailing health system NHS and to increase taxes significantly. He had promised the opposite in the election campaign and is now receiving criticism.

By Christoph Prössl, ARD-Studio London

For days it has been the main news item in the UK media: the tax hike to finance the NHS health system and care. “The highest taxes since the war” was the headline of the Daily Telegraph today. Similar to the “Times”: “Highest tax burden in 70 years”. And the tabloid “The Sun” calls the government’s plans “Bojo’s biggest gamble” – “his biggest game” and asks: Will the move cost him votes?

The reason why the debate is heated is that over five million people in the UK are waiting for an operation. The NHS is completely overwhelmed. There is a lack of staff and the pay is poor. In addition: Boris Johnson had promised in 2019 that there would be no tax increases with the Tories.

Nobody has any real reform proposals

In a heated debate in the House of Commons, Boris Johnson had to hear again that he was breaking a promise. He himself went on the offensive: “We would still like to hear what the opposition would do to bring the NHS health service forward again and to reform care. After decades of stagnation!”

Labor leader Keir Starmer countered Johnson: “His plan is to incriminate low-wage earners. My plan is for those with the broad shoulders to do their fair share.”

14 billion euros more for health and care

Labor has to put up with criticism for not having submitted its own proposals for structural reform of the NHS health service. Experts also criticize the government’s plans that the main aim is to pump more money into the system. Almost 14 billion euros more will be available annually for the NHS and care.

The government has also proposed a ceiling up to which people have to pay for care. Accordingly, from 86,000 pounds (just under 100,000 euros) the end. From this amount onwards, the state steps in. This is to prevent people from having to sell their houses and lose everything.

“On the back of the poor and the young”

In the House of Commons, Ian Blackford also criticized the tax increase. He is parliamentary group leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), 45 seats in parliament, the second largest opposition party. Scottish workers would be exempted, the boys would be punished, Blackford said: “A former Tory leader said this is where the poor fund the rich. A former Conservative prime minister said it is backward. Prime Minister, it is not made clear here again the books are balanced on the backs of the poor and young? “

There was also criticism of the government’s plans within the Conservative Party. Some MPs had indicated that they would vote against the tax hike. But with 361 MPs, the Tories have a clear majority in parliament with 650 seats. It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Johnson will actually lose votes because of the tax hike.

He argued that because of the pandemic, this step was now necessary. Many Britons apparently follow him in this assessment.

House of Commons debates plans to raise taxes

Christoph Prössl, ARD London, September 8th, 2021 2:40 p.m.

Source link