PM Johnson promises action on social care crisis

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Jul 25, 2019

Boris Johnson says solving the social care crisis is one of the top priorities of the new government in his first major speech as prime minister.

He mentioned social care alongside other ambitious proposals including boosting the number of police and improving education beyond Brexit.

Johnson also repeated his vow to “energise the country” and deliver Brexit by 31 October.

On social care Johnson said: “My job is to protect you, or your parents, or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care.

“And so I am announcing on the steps of Downing Street that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.”

The previous government promised a green paper on social care back in 2017 but that was repeatedly delayed.

Similarly, the recommendations contained in the Dilnot Commission’s report of July 2011, such as a care-spending cap and an increase to the means-test threshold for residential care, fell by the wayside.

On the Today programme this morning, MP Rishi Sunak who has just been appointed chief secretary to the Treasury was asked if social care would be in the government’s first spending review.

He said: “This a priority the PM has talked about. [Health secretary] Matt Hancock has been working on this for a while. It is a priority and something we will be getting into relatively quickly.”

Experts have also called for financial reforms they want new chancellor Sajid Javid to focus on.

Quilter says Javid should scrap the annual allowance taper to alleviate recruitment pressure on public services and publish the social care green paper to provide clarity on long-term care funding.

Quilter head of retirement Jon Greer says: “The tax system has grown ever more complex under the stewardship of George Osborne and Philip Hammond, leaving plenty of unfinished business for Sajid Javid.

“There is a backlog of unhelpful policies that are at best obfuscated tax grabs and at worst badly thought out measures with dire unintended consequences.

“The annual allowance taper, residence nil rate band and Lifetime Isa have all made our tax and savings system more complex. These contrived policies were aimed to target very specific behaviours and practices but the complexity of the design means they have come with a bundle of unplanned consequences or have failed to gain traction with savers.

“The government has also dragged its feet for far too long on matters like social care funding which it promised to address in the 2017 general election. The new prime minister has today repeated that pledge.

“The new chancellor has a fresh slate and a crucial year ahead to fix these problems before a possible election.”

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