THROUGHOUT the pandemic, one thing was clear — our first mission as a Government was to protect the NHS and to save lives.
Now they need our support more than ever.
The pandemic meant waiting lists have grown. The NHS needs a cash injection to drive waiting back down.
It also exposed long-standing problems in our social care system.
Our parents and grandparents deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if cruel diseases like dementia strike, they won’t lose everything they’ve worked so hard for.
Successive governments knew we needed to fix social care but failed to act.
Now, Boris has shown the leadership necessary to sort the system — ending catastrophic care costs and making it fairer for all.
There is no easy way to find the money we need.
We are already cutting waste across Government and we’ve had to borrow significant amounts to see us through the pandemic.
So we’re going to introduce a new health and social care levy.
It is paid by employees and employers, so that the burden is shared.
And it is fair.
Those who earn more, pay more, with 6.2million on the lowest incomes not asked to pay.
For the first time there will be a cap on the amount anyone has to spend on care. And it will supercharge the biggest catch-up programme in NHS history.
Today, MPs get the chance to vote on our plan.
Some Labour MPs have backed this plan in the past.
If they don’t back it now they’ll be voting against money for more operations, shorter waiting lists and against dignity in old age.
Let’s agree, the right thing to do now is to protect the NHS as it protected us.