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Queen’s Speech 2021: Govt promises social care reform

Queen’s Speech 2021: Govt promises social care reform

The government has pledged to bring forward plans to reform social care in today’s Queen’s Speech.

Speaking at the House of Lords today (May 11) the Queen said "social care reform would be brought forward" although no further detail or time frame has yet been given.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said the lack of detail was "unsurprising" as well as "disappointing".

Coles said: "We’re now very nearly a decade on from the Dilnot Commission, which at the time recommended urgent reform.

"At this stage, we couldn’t really have expected much more. The government has been a bit preoccupied with other things since it pledged reform in 2019, and it will need solid cross-party consensus to be effective, which it couldn’t rustle up before the speech.

"However, we’ve been here before. The millions of people who need care, and the millions providing it, cannot afford for this particular can to end up being kicked down the road again.

"The delays in reform have caused enormous heartache for people who’ve faced catastrophic care bills in the intervening years."

Social care reform has been on the government's agenda for a while, with successive governments promising to address this issue and then subsequently not following through with their promises.

The prime minister has promised repeatedly to 'fix' the social care system and the Conservative manifesto promised to address the issue. In a speech in late June he said the government was ‘finalising’ plans to solve the issue.

Despite this, social care funding was once again absent in this year’s March Budget.

Meanwhile the industry has come up with a number of suggestions including a Care Isa and Care pension but so far nothing seems to have been picked up by the government.

The government had previously intended to introduce a cap on care fees but this was scrapped in 2017.

amy.austin@ft.com

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