Labour's tax plans destroyed by Trevor Phillips
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Following the Government’s plans to hike National Insurance to pay for soaring social care costs, Mr Phillips asked Labour’s shadow Health Secretary what Labour would do differently and propose to solve the spiralling crisis. But Mr Ashworth failed to answer the question directly and instead went on a rant at the Government’s failings before the interview descended into a fiery exchange of bickering.
Mr Phillips demanded to know where Labour stands on the issue as it was revealed party leader Sir Keir Starmer has penned a 14,000-word essay that will tell the country who he is, what he is about and what Labour want.
But the Sky host questioned whether it would “be simpler” to plainly say Labour’s position on tax and their alternative approach of organising the health service “rather than giving us a lot of philosophy”.
Mr Ashworth replied saying: “I don’t accept that a government imposing a punishing unfair tax rise on working people who are also [struggling] with council tax rises with freezing their personal allowance and a lot of them will lose £20 a week in their universal credit is somehow a left-wing government.
“Of course the Labour Party is always going to want to see more money go into the health service but our problem with what has been announced this week is that it is a punishing unfair tax rise.
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“[It] won’t deliver the healthcare that is needed, we won’t see treated within 18 weeks… and it certainly does not fix social care.”
But Mr Phillips demanded a straight answer in what Labour would do differently and not point out what is wrong with the current plans.
He also put forward comments made by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham who suggested Labour should “not leave it too long” before presenting a “better proposal” than the Conservatives have to tackle the social care crisis which he argued should come in the form of a new national social care service that elderly people should contribute to whether they need care ot not.
But instead of answering directly, Mr Ashworth went on a rambling tirade at the Government, saying: “First of all we need to expand access to care and we need to expand eligibility to accessing that care so we can deliver the tailored, personalised care for people in their home so they can stay in their home longer and not be forced into a home.”
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He slammed how at the moment “3,000 people a day are turned down for care” before suggesting people up and down the county are battling “a complex system day in, day out”.
But a visibly frustrated Mr Phillips demanded to know whether Mr Ashworth thought Mr Burnham’s suggestions were a good or bad idea or simply whether he was not sure and not what “what was wrong” and what Labour would not do.
Despite My Phillips’ efforts Mr Ashworth repeatedly interjected as the Sky host was asking a question, slamming: “I am telling you what our care service will look like, because with respect…
Mr Phillips slammed back: “No! How are you going to provide it? How are you going to get from here to there?”
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Mr Ashworth hammered: “That is what I am trying to tell you, Trevor! If you stop interrupting me I will tell you!
But Mr Phillips cheekily hit back: “If you tell me I will stop interrupting you!”
Following the heated exchanges Mr Ashworth insisted how Labour’s position as he saw it was that the expansion of eligibility to social care was central to the party’s social care reform plans as he insisted this would allow more people given the care they need.
He also stated how bringing care back into the home of those that need it would prevent a backlog within the social care residential system which he claimed ultimately would claim money.
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