LAST week, MPs voted 318 to 248 for a 1.25 percentage point rise in National Insurance for workers and employers to help fund health and social care.

Boris Johnson hopes the tax increase, which breaks a Conservative manifesto pledge, will raise £12bn a year.

The prime minister said his plan would deal with "catastrophic costs" faced by those who need care.

Here is what Wiltshire MPs had to say on the vote - all four voted in favour of the rise.

'Fixing social care is extremely difficult'

Wiltshire Times: John Glen, MP for SalisburyJohn Glen, MP for Salisbury

Writing in his weekly column for the Journal, John Glen, MP for Salisbury, said that in order to properly meet the NHS’s needs, "we cannot ignore that fact that, even pre-pandemic, over a quarter of its beds were being used by long-term occupants, many of them fearful of the cost and difficulty of accessing social care".

He added: "Helping the NHS in the long term requires a solution to bed blocking and an answer to the population’s ever increasing social care needs.

"I agree with the thousands of constituents who have written to me over the years that care is a policy nettle that must be grasped.

"Completely eliminating the fear of unpredictable and runaway care costs is a permanent change, so it cannot be met by a one-off windfall tax or by taking on debt but must be part of an enduring new social contract.

"Fixing social care is extremely difficult and can only be done through radical action. Successive governments of all stripes have tried ducking the issue.

"Now, the unprecedented pressures created by the pandemic mean that that time is right to follow through and take much needed and long-awaited action."

'I voted with some trepidation'

Wiltshire Times: Danny Kruger, MP for DevizesDanny Kruger, MP for Devizes

The MP for Devizes, Danny Kruger, said he voted "with trepidation" on the issue.

In his weekly newsletter, Mr Kruger said: "If we don’t get the reform right - and we haven’t had the details on the intended system yet - this money could be wasted.

"But it is very good news that after years of dodging this vital policy problem, finally we have a Government committed to fixing social care."

'The right call'

Wiltshire Times: Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire Andrew Murrison, MP for South West Wiltshire

MP for South West Wiltshire Andrew Murrison said: "Nobody likes tax rises but the pandemic has caused the worst economic downturn in 300 years. For the NHS to catch up and to grow the kind of adult social care we all want to see, plainly money has to be found.

"The only way to raise substantial funds without burdening future taxpayers with more debt is from NI, income tax or VAT - in my view, the government has made the right call.”

'I hope it works'

Wiltshire Times: Desmond Swayne, MP for New Forest WestDesmond Swayne, MP for New Forest West

Desmond Swayne, MP for New Forest West, said the proposals are designed to address "the sense of unfairness" that arises "not from the assumption that we ought to pay for our care, but from the fact that we might have to but that others won’t".

Mr Swayne said: "Government’s critics however, appear to be attempting to ride two different horses at the same time: first they argue that it is immoral for taxpayers to be expected protect the inheritance of the relatively wealthy by preventing them from having to sell their homes to meet their care bills.

"Yet at the same time they argue that so many of them will have to sell their homes anyway, because relatively few will have the £86,000 readily to hand to pay for their bills before the taxpayer comes to the rescue. The critics have fundamentally misunderstood one of the main purposes of the reform.

"Consider our main motive saving: whist it may be prudent to save up against the possibility of lean times ahead; most of us save up for something positive that we want to get or to do, including passing such savings on to our children. I certainly couldn’t be motivated to save up for care costs, because my hope and expectation would be to never to have to be cared for.

"On the other hand, rather than save up to meet unwelcome possibilities, we insure against them: We insure our homes against burglary, fire and flood. Equally, it would be sensible to insure against care costs in order to avoid having to sell our homes. The difficulty is that such insurance is not readily available because of the potential unlimited liability that might arise from many years in residential care.

"The purpose of the £86,000 cap is to quantify and fix that liability so that the insurance market can bring forward affordable schemes - should you wish to purchase one- to protect you from the first £86,000, and prevent you from needing to sell your home if you don’t have £86,000 to hand. I hope it works."