Pensions  

PM: Social care reform could take 5 years

PM: Social care reform could take 5 years

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said it could take five years for any social care reforms to be put into place.

In a BBC interview this morning (January 14), the prime minister was forced to admit that he does not currently have a workable plan to address the social care crisis, despite previously stating he was “keen to bring a solution”.

When asked for a date for action to finally be taken to improve social care, Mr Johnson promised that a solution would be implemented “in this Parliament”, which prompted the interviewer to point out that this could still be five years away.

In response Mr Johnson said: “We will bring forward [a social care] plan this year but will get it done in this Parliament.”

Mike Padgham, chair of the Independent Care Group, said he was dismayed at the prime minister’s admission.

Mr Padgham said: “This is a huge disappointment after all the promises to tackle social care that were made when Mr Johnson took over as prime minister and during the general election campaign.

“To hear that social care could be fobbed off for up to another five years is a kick in the teeth for the 1.5m people who can’t get the care they need today.

“The social care sector deserves better and tackling this crisis should be the government’s number one domestic priority.

“If we are forced to wait up to five more years then more providers will close and even more people will start going without care.”

The social care funding issue was dragged out over the course of last year with the green paper, which was originally expected to be published in summer 2018, never being published.

Instead the government pledged to address the issue but disclosed sparse details in its Queen's Speech in October. 

It subsequently outlined a three-point plan in the December Queen's Speech, though made few concrete suggestions even then.

It is unknown whether any plans to reform social care will be announced in the upcoming budget on March,11.

amy.austin@ft.com

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