United Kingdom

Jeremy Hunt and Damian Green urge PM to publish social care plan

Tory heavyweights Jeremy Hunt and Damian Green have urged Boris Johnson to use the Budget to produce a long-awaited plan to pay for social care as they warned it is 'now or never'.  

Mr Hunt, a former health secretary, and Mr Green, a former first secretary of state, said the PM should use the Budget to announce a commitment to publish a plan in the autumn of this year. 

They admitted that 'any long-term solution will be costly' but warned 'the alternative of failing our elderly generation in their final years is not worthy of a civilised society like Britain'. 

The Tories promised in their 2019 general election manifesto to 'urgently seek a cross-party consensus' on the issue of social care reform and to bring forward the required legislation to make the changes happen.

Jeremy Hunt and Damian Green have urged Boris Johnson to use the Budget to produce a plan for social care reform

Mr Johnson and the Tories promised in their 2019 general election manifesto to 'urgently seek a cross-party consensus' on the issue of social care reform

They also said the 'prerequisite of any solution will be a guarantee that no one needing care has to sell their home to pay for it'. 

However, it remains unclear when a plan could be brought forward, with the issue of social care reform having proved too difficult for successive governments to tackle.  

Writing for The Telegraph, Mr Hunt and Mr Green said: 'We have a 10-year plan for the NHS.

'But two years after it was published there is still nothing similar for the social care system, even though the NHS plan will fail without one because the two systems are totally inter-dependent. 

'This Budget is the time to announce that such a plan for social care will be developed and published ahead of the Spending Review in the autumn.

'Any long-term solution will be costly but the alternative of failing our elderly generation in their final years is not worthy of a civilised society like Britain.

'If we don’t do it now, after the horrors of the pandemic, when will we? It really is now or never.'

The pair said that the social care sector had 'borne the brunt' of the coronavirus crisis 'in many different and terrible ways'. 

But they argued that 'many of the problems faced by the sector pre-date the pandemic' and the Budget represents a 'chance to start sorting them out'. 

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