James O'Brien's take on why the PM is concerned about social care funding

6 September 2021, 14:08

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

James O'Brien's reflection on why social care might be an issue that caused Boris Johnson to break a manifesto pledge.

It comes after reports Boris Johnson is set to face a Tory backlash over plans to hike National Insurance to help fund social care reforms as Cabinet talks over the final details of the policy continued.

"This is the challenge that the government has: The need to find a way to fund social care that stops people who own property having to sell it to pay for their own social care.

Read more: Boris Johnson faces Tory rebellion over tax rise to fund social care

"Why do they need to do that? Because it's become electorally live."

James said it had become clear that the current government "lives in thrall to newspaper headlines."

Pointing out that many of the Tory-supporting newspapers have a readership largely made up of "older, probably pensioned now, and probably property owners."

"And that is the only crowd that the government can play to now in terms of social care, it is people who are worried that they are going to have to spend their own money on their own social care."

The Prime Minister is set to break a manifesto commitment by increasing National Insurance, risking unrest within his Cabinet and on the backbenches.

Mr Johnson, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have been thrashing out the details, as the Government prepares to announce its long-awaited reforms to social care.