BBC’s Dan Walker reacts to critic for ‘pushing myth elderly sit on goldmines’ in row

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BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker reacted on Twitter after it was reported that the government is considering raising National Insurance to help pay for social care in England. The TV anchor was urged to “get out more” after a critic slammed the host for pushing out myths about the older generation.

It comes after the 46-year-old shared a clip of his interview with government minister James Heappey from yesterday’s programme.

The Conservative minister said that social care reforms “shouldn’t be pitted as generation against generation”.

A social media user commented: “@mrdanwalker I really enjoyed this interview. The minister had my attention and really explained himself well.”

However, one critic appeared unimpressed with Dan as they took aim at comments he made on BBC Breakfast.

The person in question fired back: “He also expertly dismantled and destroyed the myth put out there by Walker that the entire older generation are sitting on property goldmines, lauding in a life paid for by the young of this country. He really should get out more!”

The broadcaster swiftly reacted to the social media user as he brutally dismantled their argument and denied pushing “myths” about the elderly’s financial situation.

“Hi. I didn’t put any myths out there sir. I read a quote from a minister in his own party,” Dan replied, in view of his 722,000 followers.

He added: “Thanks for watching.”

The social media user later apologised for their remark and added they had made a mistake.

They penned: “Sorry Dan – I should have said ‘shared’ the myth. My mistake. Thanks for responding!”

During BBC Breakfast, Dan read out a quote from a minister in Boris Johnson’s government.

He began: “This is about broken manifesto promises. Let me read out a quote that was in the papers over the weekend. This was from someone on the Prime Minister’s top team.

“It said, ‘After all that happened in the last 18 months they can’t seriously be thinking about a tax raid on supermarket workers and nurses so that children of Surrey homeowners can receive a bigger inheritance.'”

Dan continued: “This they say, ‘makes a total mockery of the levelling up agenda.'”

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Mr Heappey replied: “There will be an awful lot of your viewers right now who are retired. They are sitting and listening to that characterisation of the elderly as sitting on big houses that are bought and paid for with savings and shareholdings.

“They will say, ‘That’s not my finances in the slightest.’ Far too many of my constituents who are retired rely on their state pension and they are certainly not in a house that is entirely bought and paid for.

He added: “They are terrified of falling ill and not being able to afford their own care.”

National Insurance (NI) is a tax paid on earnings and the profits of self-employed workers.

If you’re employed by somebody, you’ll start paying NI when you’re earning just under £10,000 a year.

Unlike the rate of income tax, which rises once you reach earnings of about £50,000, National Insurance falls at that point.

That means an increase would have a proportionally smaller impact on the highest earners.

It has been reported that there are plans to increase the rate of NI contributions to help pay for the social care for the elderly which has been widely criticised, including from within the Conservative Party.

It has been argued it would be unfair on younger people and other taxes might be more suitable.

BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One at 6am.

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