Boris Johnson’s social care crusade: Prime Minister vows to tackle nursing care crisis within months… but well-off families may still have to pay up
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to tackle social care crisis within months
- Said he wanted to bring ‘massive change’ in the way social care was funded
- Conservatives pledged that no one will have to sell their home to pay for care
Boris Johnson yesterday pledged to bring forward a plan to tackle the social care crisis within months.
The Prime Minister said his 80-seat majority meant the new administration had a chance to deal with a problem that had been ‘shirked by governments for 30 years’.
Mr Johnson said he wanted to bring about a ‘massive change in the way we fund social care’.
The Conservatives have pledged that no one will have to sell their home to pay for care.
Boris Johnson (pictured during visit to Stormont in Belfast) pledged to bring forward a plan to tackle the social care crisis within months
But Mr Johnson yesterday sounded a warning that this did not mean better-off pensioners should not contribute financially.
He said a key question was: ‘Should taxpayers be paying for people who might be able to afford it?’
During the election campaign, the Conservatives pledged to hold cross-party talks in Mr Johnson’s first 100 days.
But a Government source last night said this did not mean Labour would have a veto, particularly given the PM’s new majority.
They added: ‘We are not going to be having some long-drawn-out discussion with the Opposition – we want to get on with this.
‘Of course we would like to reach a consensus which everyone feels they can support. But this is going to be our plan.’
In an interview with BBC Breakfast yesterday, the PM insisted that the social care crisis was a priority.
He said: ‘We will bring forward a plan this year and we will get it done within this Parliament.
The prime minister said he wanted to bring about a ‘massive change’ in the way social care was funded
‘This is a big, big thing. I mean, this is a potentially massive change in the way we fund social care, and we’ve got to get it right.
‘We have got to think very carefully about how we do it because there are lots of quite important moral and social issues contained in it. The key thing is that everybody must have safety and security in their old age – nobody should sell their home to pay for the cost of that care. We will do that.’
The PM is said to have initially favoured a system in which care costs were funded by the taxpayer.
But Chancellor Sajid Javid warned this would leave the Treasury with an annual bill of more than £6billion, even if people were required to pay their residential costs.
Other ministers are also said to have concerns about whether Britons of working age should pay the full care costs of those able to contribute.
Downing Street yesterday gave no clues as to exactly how the extra cash will be raised.
But Theresa May’s former deputy Damian Green said the new government was serious about devising a lasting solution.
Mr Green, who oversaw previous government attempts to resolve the issue, said: ‘The solution has got to involve getting a lot of new money into the system.’
Meanwhile, ministers will today bring forward legislation to lock in a planned £34billion increase in health spending over the next four years.
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