Boris Johnson faces down Tory rebellion as he wins vote on social care tax increase

8 September 2021, 19:29 | Updated: 8 September 2021, 20:20

Boris Johnson won the vote to increase National Insurance.
Boris Johnson won the vote to increase National Insurance. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Boris Johnson has faced down a Tory rebellion, winning a vote on the 1.25 per cent increase in National Insurance for social care.

They won the vote for the levy 319 to 248 in the House of Commons, with a majority of 71.

However, a number of Conservatives chose to abstain while others made clear they were only voting with the greatest reluctance.

Some 37 chose not to vote altogether, while only five rebelled and voted against the increase.

It comes after multiple Tory MPs previously expressed their concerns at the plans, as the party had abandoned a manifesto promise not to raise taxes and also taken the tax burden to record peacetime levels.

There was also a divide over the scheme to place a lifetime cap of £86,000 on social care costs in England, with some believing it would primarily benefit elderly households in the more affluent parts of the South at the expense of working families elsewhere.

Read more: Johnson and Starmer clash over controversial tax hike in rowdy first PMQs of the season

Read more: 'Read my lips': Labour mocks Boris Johnson with LBC video of him promising no tax rise

'Where has the £350M a week for the NHS gone?'

Mr Johnson spent almost an hour addressing a private meeting of Tories ahead of the vote, telling the backbench 1922 Committee that the Conservatives remained the party of free enterprise, the private sector and "low taxation".

"We should never forget that," he said.

At the same time, he said that he could not think of a "better use" for public money than spending on the NHS.

The tax rise was announced in parliament on Tuesday, with 36 billion pounds expected to be raised over the next three years as a result.

It will help fund social care reforms as well as helping the NHS manage its backlog due to Covid.

Read more: Boris Johnson refuses to rule out more tax hikes after National Insurance rise

'This is a very conservative thing to do' Health Secretary says

Leader of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, Jake Berry, warned that by listing the levy on payslips as a health and social care charge, it would "never go down, it can only go up".

"No party is ever going to stand at an election and say I've got a good idea, vote for me, I'll cut the NHS tax," he said.

"It is fundamentally un-Conservative and in the long term it will massively damage the prospects of our party because we will never outbid the Labour Party in the arms race of an NHS tax."

In a contradictory move, Health Secretary Sajid Javid earlier said that the decision was actually a "very Conservative thing to do".

"We can all see the huge pressure the global pandemic put on the NHS and indeed the rise on those waiting lists. I'm not willing to tolerate that," he told LBC.

"If we believe in an NHS that's paid out of general taxation, this is a very Conservative move."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Cleverly and Cooper face off on immigration.

General Election LIVE: Cleverly and Cooper to face off on immigration, Met says its not source of election bet leaks

Rishi Sunak Holds Campaign Event In London

Met Police denies 'leaking names' of Conservatives suspected of betting on election date

Assange was released from Belmarsh Prison in London on Monday

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange leaves UK after being freed in US plea deal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reached a plea deal.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to US after reaching plea deal

Princess Anne is reportedly unable to remember what happened due to the nature of the injury.

Princess Anne ‘unable to recall exactly what happened’ after being ‘hit by horse’ as she faces several days in hospital

England have qualified for the last 16 at Euro 2024.

England qualify for last 16 at Euro 2024 after Spain beat Albania

Rishi Sunak criticised Labour's proposed plans to tackle migration rates in the UK.

UK would be ‘illegal migration capital of world’ under Labour, Sunak says as he sets out plans to ‘stop the boats’

Labour has made cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' should the party come to power

Labour makes cutting knife crime a 'moral mission' as Starmer proposes new child criminal exploitation offence

Spanish police are investigating if Jay's 'background' is relevant to the disappearance.

Spanish police searching for Jay Slater investigate if teenager’s background is ‘relevant’ to his disappearance

Lord Kinnock has said he would not wish being part of the current Tory government on his 'most bloodthirsty enemies'.

‘I wish I was fighting this lot’, ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock says as he brands current Tory party 'superficial'

The president of Finland has said he 'doesn't agree with many things' Nigel Farage says in response to his comments on the war in Ukraine.

'Absolutely not': Finland's president dismisses Nigel Farage’s claim that Nato provoked Russia's war in Ukraine

A man went missing in the water off Bournemouth beach (file image)

Huge search operation launched for man missing in water off Bournemouth beach

Bosses face £1,000 fine for letting employees watch England's Euros clash with Denmark in the office

Offices showing England v Slovenia Euros clash could face hefty £1,000 fine

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

King Charles sends 'fondest love’ to Princess Anne who will ‘quickly bounce back’ after being hit by horse

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".

Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

The Reform UK leader's comments came as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Kent on Tuesday, slamming the current government's ability to control immigration.

Farage warns of Channel migrant 'invasion' from countries 'with terrorism, gang culture and war zones'