More than two-thirds of Brits think a wealth tax that pays towards the cost of social care should be introduced, a new poll has revealed.
Coming in the wake of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) green paper on adult social care and well-being, a poll by pensions firm Aegon found that more than two thirds (68%) of people support the idea that the cost of care would be covered partly by the government and partly by them, should they need care.
Meanwhile, two thirds (66%) of Brits polled say they would support a specific wealth-related tax to fund care costs.
This wealth tax could come in the form of higher council tax for those living in more expensive properties says Aegon. Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, explains: “There is strong support for the government to look beyond income tax, to taxes on wealth, as a means of raising extra funds. This could, for example, involve those with the most expensive homes paying higher council tax. This tends to be less favoured by older age groups, who will be the ones most likely to have accumulated wealth.”
More than half (54%) believe extra cash could be raised by asking those who work beyond state pension age to continue paying national insurance contributions (NICs). Currently, those who continue working in retirement are exempt from paying NICs.
While almost half (49%) favour the idea of a specific social care levy, only two in five (39%) like the idea of everyone who pays income tax paying more tax.
However, just under half (48%) support the idea of workers paying extra income tax or NICs. When asked how much more tax they would be prepared to pay, almost three-quarters say they are willing to pay up to 3% extra.
Mr Cameron adds: “It’s likely that the government will need to design a package of different measures to fill the social care funding gap. The really tricky bit is how to shape and ‘sell’ a package of tax increases, which will be seen as fair across generations of voters and across those with different income and wealth levels.”
Responses to possible fund-raising measures
|Wealth-related tax rather than income tax||66%||28%||6%|
|Remove NICs exemption for those working beyond state pension age||54%||38%||8%|
|Social care levy||49%||26%||24%|
|An employer contribution||49%||37%||13%|
|More income tax or NICs, working population only||48%||42%||10%|
|More income tax for all||39%||51%||10%|
Source: Aegon, June 2018