A new tax should be paid by the over-40s to help cover the costs of elderly care, MPs have said.

Two House of Commons committees have published a report calling for a new social care premium to be introduced, to ensure everyone who requires support in old age is able to access it.

Currently, only those on the lowest incomes get help with the costs of social care, meaning many have to fund it themselves.

The proposed tax would apply to those aged over 40, and would extend to retired people with lucrative pensions or investments.

The report argued that employers should also contribute to the premium, and it could be topped up by a levy on inheritance tax for estates above a certain threshold.

The money raised by these reforms would be used to make care available to everyone who needs it, as well as easing pressure on the wider social care system.

Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, said:

"We can no longer delay finding a fair and sustainable settlement for social care.

"Too many people are being left without the care and support they need and it is time for decisions to be made about how the costs are shared."

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