People aged 40 and over could be made to pay a new tax to help fund social care.
According to reports, ministers are considering an ‘age tax’ similar to a system that has already been implemented in Japan, which is facing its own struggles with an ageing population.
Health secretary Matt Hancock is ‘attracted’ to models already used in countries like Germany and Japan. In Japan a national insurance payment was introduced in the year 2000 for those aged over 40. In Germany 2.5% of wages are paid into a social care fund.
A similar solution was put forward by MPs on the health and social care select committee earlier this year.
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph Hancock said: ‘I am impressed by the work of the select committees who have come up with a model that is adapted from what was introduced about 20 years ago in Germany, and it appears to be working there.’
Hancock told the paper he liked the proposal because it had cross party backing, coming as it did from a committee.
He said: ‘as soon as it’s turned into a political football it makes it extremely difficult to make any progress at all.
The department of health will be publishing a green paper with full proposals later this year.