FORMER health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the UK Government needs to “bite the bullet” and raise tax to fund health and social care in England.

He told the BBC Radio Four Today programme: “I’m really arguing that we need to bite the bullet and say there has to be a tax rise of some sort.

“I think the number one priority of the electorate is to have good health and care services, and I think they understand that those pressures, irrespective of the pandemic, are only going to increase in the years ahead, and they want Britain to have the safest, highest quality health service in the world and a good social care system as well and at the moment, we’re not going to be able to do that with the resources we have.”

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Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the UK Government has to find a way to ensure England's social care is “adequately funded” when he was questioned about a possible hike to national insurance.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I’m confident that something will come forward very, very soon because a lot of us have been waiting anxiously.

“What we said in the manifesto about social care is no one has a monopoly of wisdom about these issues and the British public are sensible enough to know that when it comes to the issue of social care we have got to find some way in which it will be adequately funded.”

Buckland insisted no decisions have been made amid reports national insurance could be raised to fund social care reforms.

He told Sky News: “We know the challenge, the work is going on and I’m sure that we’ll hear the outcomes very soon.

“No final decisions have been made.”

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While national insurance is reserved to Westminster, social care is a devolved matter, with the SNP planning on implementing a National Care Service.

A public consultation on the service is currently under way.

But if there is extra spending in England then it should be redistributed in Scotland through the Barnett formula.

In Scotland, some personal care, such as help with the washing as well as dressing is free if local authorities consider a person is in need of it while in England social care is generally not provided for free.

This means, in England, usually only those with savings and assets less than £23,250 may get help from their local council.