Care and Support Workers Organise protest in Manchester on their day of action, 4 September
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady is right to respond to the talk of National Insurance increases by arguing that “it’s time to raise taxes on wealth to fund social care properly”.
A section of the right is are using phrases like “intergenerational fairness” to justify removing the triple lock which guarantees substantial increases in the basic state pension (by average earnings, inflation or 2.5%, whichever is higher).
Others say that social care should be funded by squeezing older people more rather than by increasing National Insurance, i.e. taxes on low or average-paid workers.
Such framing ensures that some section of the working class broadly defined will lose out, and that the capitalist class and the rich can evade making any sacrifice, however limited, to tackle social problems.
Younger people have suffered disproportionately under “austerity”, ie the last decade and more of ruling-class warfare. But since 2012 pensioner poverty, as defined by a conservative official formula, has increased by 5% to almost a fifth.
The solution to the “unfairness” of the state pension having a triple lock while other benefits don’t is for the lock to be extended to all benefits, and for their levels to be raised. For a start: keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit due to be stopped on 6 October.
Tax the rich! Transform social care into a free, fully-funded public service!