MAIL ON SUNDAYS NOTE: Higher taxes are never welcome. Voters need to know they are getting their money’s worth
This newspaper is a staunch supporter of Boris Johnson and the Conservative government, especially for their commendable successes in making Brexit a reality and in devising and implementing one of the most effective Covid vaccine programs in the world.
The Mail on Sunday now sincerely hopes the Prime Minister’s decision to break clear manifesto promises, especially by raising taxes to boost the NHS and social care, won’t bite him in the future. But after the events of the past week, it is not easy to be optimistic.
Was it really wise for a prime minister so often accused of playing quick and loose with the truth to brutally tear up an undisputed, undeniable personal promise?
The Mail on Sunday now sincerely hopes the Prime Minister’s decision to break clear manifesto promises, especially by raising taxes to boost the NHS and social care, won’t bite him in the future
Perhaps more importantly, it was wise to jeopardize the Tories’ reputation as the low-tax party — a reputation that plays a vital role in securing the loyalty of conservative voters who passionately believe that free men and women should have money. spend or save their own hard-earned money as much as they want?
We strongly discouraged this step, but it has now happened. It is now the job of the friends and supporters of the government to ensure that something good comes out of this unsatisfactory episode – in which the official opposition had little interest or value to say.
Millions of homeowners consider the homes they’ve worked and saved their lives for much more than possessions, and are saddened by the danger of having to sell them in order to pay for care later on.
The government’s new levy simply does not eliminate that risk for large numbers of people, and there is still a strong incentive to devise some form of insurance against this, which the government should urgently pursue.
There is also the ongoing issue of the NHS, much more beloved in the abstract than when people run into it in practice. One thing is now definitely settled. Labour’s longstanding claims that they were the only ‘party of the NHS’ and that the Tories didn’t care and wouldn’t spend anything on it have been proven completely false. Now that the Conservatives are at least as much ‘the party of the NHS’ as Labour, if not more, they are freer to improve it.
In fact, they are obliged to do so. Uncritical worship is never good for an institution, and the reverence bestowed on the health service has protected its leaden bureaucracy and its deplorable clinical failures.
The foolish idea that the only other possible model is the grotesque failing health system in the US is far too common among politicians and media.
In fact, many other developed countries – from Canada to Sweden – have health systems from which we can and should learn a lot.
Let’s hope that the new Downing Street delivery unit, led by Emily Lawson, who has been very effective in guiding the NHS vaccination programme, will ensure that the new money now flowing into the NHS will do measurably well.
Once this charge starts showing up on the nation’s paychecks, voters will want to know they’re getting their money’s worth. And they should.
Higher taxes are never welcome, but they are much more bearable if they clearly give back to those who pay them.