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Queen's Speech: Govt to tackle social care with 3 point plan

Queen's Speech: Govt to tackle social care with 3 point plan

The government has pledged to reform social care and provide "everyone with the dignity and security they deserve" with a three-point plan in today's Queen's Speech. 

Speaking at the House of Lords today (December 19) the Queen said her ministers would "seek cross-party consensus" on proposals for long-term reform to social care.

This could be a pledge well received by the industry after any mention of social care and its funding crisis was omitted from the Conservative’s election manifesto. 

The Queen said: "They [the government] will ensure that the social care system provides everyone with the dignity and security they deserve and that no-one who needs care has to sell their home to pay for it."  

In supporting documents the government said putting social care on a sustainable footing was "one of the biggest long-term challenges" facing society.

To tackle this the government pledged a three point plan. 

Councils will receive an additional £1bn for adult and children's social care in every year of the parliament, with the government pledging to consult on a 2 per cent precept that would enable councils to access a further £500m for adult social care for 2020-2021.

This measure has been announced previously.

According to the government this would support local authorities to meet the rising demand by paying for more staff as well as better infrastructure, technology and facilities.

The second part of the plan is to seek cross-party consensus in order to bring forward the necessary proposals and legislation for long-term social care reform in England.

Finally, and in doing so, the government stated it would ensure that nobody needing care would be "forced to sell their home to pay for it".

The proposals to consult on a 2 per cent precept were first addressed in the Queen's Speech in October when it was announced the government would "bring forward proposals to reform adult social care in England to ensure dignity in old age".

Earlier this year health secretary Matt Hancock suggested the heavily delayed social care green paper may be scrapped in favour of legislation as the government focused on finding a solution to the problem rather than to discuss it further.

In today's supporting documents the government said a person aged 65 can expect to have care costs paid for by the state or the individual of around £40,000 on average over their later life. 

It also said around one in ten people will have care costs paid for by the state or the individual of more than £100,000 before accommodation costs, while around one in four will have no costs at all.

Boris Johnson had promised in his first speech as prime minister that he would "fix the crisis in social care once and for all" but his party has been criticised for failing to address the issue in detail.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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