The only way to ‘fix’ the care system crisis is to ‘fix’ capitalism with socialist revolution

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TORY PM Boris Johnson yesterday unveiled his strategy for ‘fixing’ the country’s ‘broken social care system’.

Central to his plan is to increase National Insurance (NI) contributions by 1.25%, an increase that would hit young people and the low paid hardest with workers earning £30,000 a year paying an extra £255 in what is essentially a tax increase.

According to the BBC, Johnson expects this increase to raise over £12 billion but not all this money will be going into the social care system.

Instead, it will be targeted first at attempting to deal with the huge backlog in NHS patients forced to wait for treatment during the pandemic and only after this backlog has been ‘fixed’ will any money find its way into the social care system.

Given that last week a joint report from NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation called for an extra £10 billion just to clear the NHS backlog, it is clear that Johnson’s ‘fix’ is doomed from the start.

Johnson’s plan has caused ructions in the Tory Party which regards any increase in taxation as an existential threat to the wealthy.

As for the trade unions and Labour Party leaders, they have joined in a chorus of calling for other measures to raise the money.

The Unite union called for a ‘wealth tax’ on property and unearned income as a fairer way to finance the social care system.

In a statement, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: ‘The regeneration of social care needs to have a much wider financial base than the focus on National Insurance which falls on those of working age, particularly the young, and is not paid by the retired who may own a house and have other savings.’

She added: ‘The situation is not helped by the continuing pace of privatisation in the NHS which is costly and ineffective, and only lines the pockets of the profit-hungry private healthcare companies.’

In fact, privatisation of both the NHS and the social care system has rarely been mentioned by the trade union and Labour Party leadership let alone them calling for the Tory privateers to be kicked out.

Until the 1980s social care and provision for the elderly came under the NHS. Hospitals provided geriatric beds for the elderly and infirm – all free at the point of need.

This changed when the Tory government under Margaret Thatcher began to drive privatisation by transferring elderly patients and services out of the NHS and into the arms of the massive private healthcare companies.

Private Equity, hedge funds and real estate investors jumped in seeing vast profits to be made by using predatory financial methods.

They moved in to take over the majority of care homes in the country using debt-leveraged buyouts that saddled the homes with huge debts they had to repay monthly.

According to Christine Corlet Walker from the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity: These financialised structures demand an ever-growing revenue stream, not to fund more and better quality care or higher wages, but to keep up with growing interest repayments on the debts they carry and rising rents, and to line the pockets of investors, some of whom are astutely located in low-tax jurisdictions.’

The Labour Party and trade union leaders deliberately refuse to take on the real cause of the crisis in social care and the NHS instead, just appealing to the Tories for fairer ways of funding.

At the heart of this crisis is capitalism itself and its insatiable demand to extract profit from the working class – including the sick and elderly.

The only fix for the NHS and social care is to fix capitalism by overthrowing it and replacing it with socialism.

The answer to this crisis is to force the TUC to call a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers’ government that will throw out the privateers, nationalise the banks and large industry under workers management, and build a socialist planned economy that will use the wealth expropriated from the capitalist class to provide free health and social care for everyone.

Only the WRP fights for this policy – join today!

TORY PM Boris Johnson yesterday unveiled his strategy for ‘fixing’ the country’s ‘broken social care system’.

Central to his plan is to increase National Insurance (NI) contributions by 1.25%, an increase that would hit young people and the low paid hardest with workers earning £30,000 a year paying an extra £255 in what is essentially a tax increase.

According to the BBC, Johnson expects this increase to raise over £12 billion but not all this money will be going into the social care system.

Instead, it will be targeted first at attempting to deal with the huge backlog in NHS patients forced to wait for treatment during the pandemic and only after this backlog has been ‘fixed’ will any money find its way into the social care system.

Given that last week a joint report from NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation called for an extra £10 billion just to clear the NHS backlog, it is clear that Johnson’s ‘fix’ is doomed from the start.

Johnson’s plan has caused ructions in the Tory Party which regards any increase in taxation as an existential threat to the wealthy.

As for the trade unions and Labour Party leaders, they have joined in a chorus of calling for other measures to raise the money.

The Unite union called for a ‘wealth tax’ on property and unearned income as a fairer way to finance the social care system.

In a statement, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: ‘The regeneration of social care needs to have a much wider financial base than the focus on National Insurance which falls on those of working age, particularly the young, and is not paid by the retired who may own a house and have other savings.’

She added: ‘The situation is not helped by the continuing pace of privatisation in the NHS which is costly and ineffective, and only lines the pockets of the profit-hungry private healthcare companies.’

In fact, privatisation of both the NHS and the social care system has rarely been mentioned by the trade union and Labour Party leadership let alone them calling for the Tory privateers to be kicked out.

Until the 1980s social care and provision for the elderly came under the NHS. Hospitals provided geriatric beds for the elderly and infirm – all free at the point of need.

This changed when the Tory government under Margaret Thatcher began to drive privatisation by transferring elderly patients and services out of the NHS and into the arms of the massive private healthcare companies.

Private Equity, hedge funds and real estate investors jumped in seeing vast profits to be made by using predatory financial methods.

They moved in to take over the majority of care homes in the country using debt-leveraged buyouts that saddled the homes with huge debts they had to repay monthly.

According to Christine Corlet Walker from the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity: These financialised structures demand an ever-growing revenue stream, not to fund more and better quality care or higher wages, but to keep up with growing interest repayments on the debts they carry and rising rents, and to line the pockets of investors, some of whom are astutely located in low-tax jurisdictions.’

The Labour Party and trade union leaders deliberately refuse to take on the real cause of the crisis in social care and the NHS instead, just appealing to the Tories for fairer ways of funding.

At the heart of this crisis is capitalism itself and its insatiable demand to extract profit from the working class – including the sick and elderly.

The only fix for the NHS and social care is to fix capitalism by overthrowing it and replacing it with socialism.

The answer to this crisis is to force the TUC to call a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers’ government that will throw out the privateers, nationalise the banks and large industry under workers management, and build a socialist planned economy that will use the wealth expropriated from the capitalist class to provide free health and social care for everyone.

Only the WRP fights for this policy – join today!