United Kingdom

Rishi Sunak 'refusing to sign off extra cash for social care reform'

Rishi Sunak is refusing to sign off on extra cash to pay for social care reform until Boris Johnson provides him with a plan capable of solving all of the system's problems, it was claimed today.  

The Chancellor has reportedly told the Prime Minister that he needs to set out proposals to fix a wide array of social care issues, with the Treasury not willing to pay for a partial solution. 

The PM favours introducing a cap on care costs which would enable the Tories to deliver on a manifesto commitment that people should not have to sell their homes to pay for care. 

But Mr Sunak is concerned the cap will not be enough on its own to put the system onto a sustainable footing, according to The Times. 

Boris Johnson, pictured in Downing Street today, is under fire after he failed to include a plan to fix the nation's social care crisis in the Queen's Speech

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has reportedly told the Prime Minister that he needs to set out proposals to fix a wide array of social care issues before the Treasury will release funding

A cap would not address other thorny issues like increasingly strained council budgets and staff pay amid fears over recruiting workers. 

The newspaper said providing care to everyone who needs it while also improving standards and capping costs could cost the Government £10billion a year.

The reported standoff between Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson comes after the PM yesterday sparked a backlash after he failed to include a social care plan in the Queen's Speech. 

Mr Johnson said in his first speech as premier on July 24, 2019 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'. 

But the Queen's Speech contained just nine words relating to social care as the monarch said: 'Proposals on social care reform will be brought forward.' 

The lack of a plan was criticised by senior Tories including Theresa May who told Mr Johnson that social care is an 'issue we need to grasp'.

Mrs May told the Commons yesterday afternoon: 'I know it's not an easy issue, I put forward a plan, it was comprehensively rejected – so I recognise the difficulty in trying to come forward with something here, but it is an issue we need to grasp.

'I think the pandemic has shown, and the issues around social care that came up have shown, the importance of this and of reform that genuinely provides a sustainable social care system into the future. 

'It also needs to be a system that does not exacerbate the intergenerational divisions.' 

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