Scarborough-based businessman's Leap Year proposal to Chancellor
Campaigners are using this Leap Year day to make a proposal to new Chancellor Rishi Sunak to boost social care funding in his first Budget speech.
The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Chancellor should not be afraid to increase tax or National Insurance to fund a cash injection for care.
It says that is the only thing that can end a crisis in social care that has left 1.5m people without the care they need.
The Group’s Chairman, Mike Padgham, has had a poem commissioned, urging the Chancellor to act.
He said: “We have a Leap Year day in February this year, a day when traditionally women can propose to men.
“Instead, we are getting down on one knee and proposing that the Chancellor finds a solution to the social care crisis.
"Here is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Chancellor to be bold, offer a solution to the crisis in social care and go down in history as the politician who solved the social care crisis and gave care to 1.5m people and thousands more in the future.
“Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to end the crisis in social care and now, with the right measures in the Budget, the Chancellor has the chance to deliver on that promise before the crisis deepens any further.”
He has warned that the extra £1.5bn already pledged by the Government for social care won’t even touch the sides in terms of solving the crisis as it will be swallowed up by providers having to meet the increase in the National Minimum Wage.
He argues that the sector needs a proper pledge of extra money, funded by an increase in taxation or National Insurance.
A state of the nation poll by the Daily Express recently found that 56% of people would be prepared to see an increase in taxation to pay for better social care.
“We have to be honest and say ‘if the country wants to be properly looked after then we have to pay for it’,” Mr Padgham added.
“I believe that if people know they are going to have a social care system that looks after them properly, they would be willing to pay a little more in taxation of NI payments.
"Invest in social care: give people a better life and save money for the NHS.”