Two-thirds support National Insurance hike to fund social care reform – Ipsos Mori poll

Two-thirds of people in Britain support increasing National Insurance contributions to pay for social care reform, a poll has found.

Ipsos Mori’s latest Political Monitor poll also revealed 49% of Britons want the Government to increase spending on public services, even if that means higher taxes or more borrowing.

The idea of increasing National Insurance to pay for a reformed care system was floated earlier this year by the Government, though details were not advanced before MPs left Westminster for recess.

Before returning to Government at the 2019 general election, the Conservatives had pledged in their manifesto not to raise taxes to pay for public spending.

Gideon Skinner, head of politics at Ipsos Mori, said: “Even though it might have been dampened by the pandemic, there is still some appetite amongst Britons for more spending on public services.

“In particular, they can be persuaded to support tax rises that will be used to pay for improvements to public services, as Gordon Brown found in 2002 and as we may find again with proposals to raise National Insurance to pay for social care reform or to clear the NHS backlog.

“Even past Conservative supporters are in favour of these, although young people are slightly less supportive of the rise than older groups (unlike taxes to pay for net zero).”

According to Ipsos Mori, support for increased public spending – either through higher taxes or borrowing – has “slipped” from 66% at the end of 2018 to 56% just before the 2019 election.

It now stands at just under half – 49% – in favour of increased public spending.

There is a partisan divide, with 74% of 2019 Labour voters wanting more spending, compared with only 40% of 2019 Conservative supporters.

The poll also shows approximately two in three – 64% – would support a 1% increase in National Insurance contributions to help pay for social care reform, while 65% would support the same rise to reduce the backlog in the NHS caused by the pandemic.

These proposals have similar levels of support from Conservative and Labour 2019 voters.

However, young people are less supportive, with 56% of 18 to 34-year-olds in favour against 73% of those aged 55 or over.

Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, said on Twitter: “It used to be pensioners who were most squeezed and against rises – its now the young for same reason.”

Polling found 60% of UK residents were in favour of paying higher taxes to become a net zero economy, by “reducing carbon emissions from many different activities, such as driving cars, producing food, and use of electricity, and balancing out the remaining emissions by technologies and actions that reduce greenhouse gases”.

Ipsos Mori’s Political Monitor also found 51% were in favour of a tax rise to reduce inequalities across different regions of the UK, which the Government says is the driving force behind its “levelling up” agenda.

Ipsos Mori’s poll was based on interviews with a representative sample of 1,113 adults aged 18 and over across Great Britain.

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