“A global pandemic was not on our electoral program.” With this phrase, among many others, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, defended himself this Tuesday at the press conference in which journalists told him that with the new tax increase that he presented in Parliament hours before, his government is breaking one of its main promises electoral. With the new “social and health” tax, the executive aims to tackle the crisis in public health and social assistance whose main cause the premier attributes to the coronavirus pandemic, which was a major challenge for the country’s economy. Thus, starting in April of next year, workers and employers will have to contribute 1.25% to social security, which will allow raising 36,000 million pounds sterling in three years (about 13,920 million euros per year). Johnson refused to commit to avoiding further tax increases during the legislature, although he said he does not want to do so.
Both in the press conference, on his Twitter account and before the parliamentarians in the House of Commons, Johnson explained that the NHS, acronym in English for the public health service, “heroically treated more than half a million patients with Covid -19 “during the worst of the pandemic, and has administered” more than 91 million vaccines. ” “But the inevitable result of this extraordinary effort is that Covid-19 has caused an increase in delays” in health care, and “the number of patients needing care” has reached unprecedented figures. The premier explained that his government “will also invest in the quality of care” because it wants that of caregiver to be “a properly respected profession.”
The Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, who accompanied Johnson in his appearance, explained that “most of the funds from the new tax will initially go to the health service” to prevent the number of people on waiting lists from increasing, while that the Minister of Finance, Rishi SunakHe insisted that taxes are not being raised lightly, asserting that conservatives remain committed to “low taxes” in general, but are now “dealing with tough times,” noting that his party continues to have a reputation for “Be responsible with public finances.” “There is no one more willing to cut taxes than the three people who are in front of you today,” emphasized, for his part, Johnson, who previously considered before the deputies that “it would be incorrect for me to say that we can pay this recovery without taking difficult but responsible decisions on how to finance it “and added that” it would be irresponsible to cover the costs of increased debt. “
Boos for the premiere
The new measure, which will be voted on this Wednesday, provoked not only the disenchantment of the opposition, but also the mockery of the deputies of other formations, who booed the premier when he declared that a long-term reform is necessary to solve the care of the elderly and disabled Britons no longer have to face the “overwhelming” cost of care that forces many to sell their property in order to pay for it. “You cannot fix health and social care without long-term reform. The plan that I am establishing today will solve all these problems together, “he promised.
“This tax increase breaks a promise made by the prime minister in the last elections,” he declared for his part. Keir Starmer, leader of the Labor Party, who will vote against, and warned that “the Conservatives will never again be able to pretend to be the low-tax party.” The premier also faces critical voices within his own ranks, such as the secretary of state responsible for overseeing vaccine distribution, Nadhim Zahawi, who said that he “does not feel comfortable” with the breaking of this electoral promise.