Ten ‘wasted years’ on social care: Charities urge Boris Johnson to fix broken system now as poll shows four in five people want Prime Minister to fulfil his promise
- A poll found four in five want Boris Johnson to fulfil his promise to ‘fix’ social care
- Charities asked the public to contact MPs to express anger over ‘wasted decade’
- It comes on the week of the tenth anniversary of the Dilnot Commission’s report
- Mr Johnson said on his first day as Prime Minister he would ‘fix’ social care crisis
Ten years after a landmark report proposed a solution to England’s social care crisis, a poll has found four in five want Boris Johnson to act now to fulfil his promise to ‘fix’ the problem.
Dozens of charities have together called on the public to contact their MPs to express their anger over the ‘wasted decade’ on social care.
It comes in the week that marks the tenth anniversary of the Dilnot Commission’s report, which suggested a lifetime cap on care costs be imposed to prevent people being hit with catastrophically high bills.
The Dilnot report, commissioned by then prime minister David Cameron, was included in the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto but it was dropped just two months after the election. Theresa May also failed to come forward with proposals.
Boris Johnson said on July 24, 2019, his first day as Prime Minister, that he would ‘fix’ the social care crisis ‘once and for all’. But in the two years since this promise, no proposals have been brought forward.
A YouGov poll commissioned by the Care and Support Alliance found that 83 per cent of the public want Mr Johnson to fulfil his pledge to fix England’s social care crisis (stock image)
Now a YouGov poll commissioned by the Care and Support Alliance has found that 83 per cent of the public want Mr Johnson to fulfil his pledge.
The 76 charities in the alliance say ministers have ‘wasted’ a decade that could have been spent bringing in a fair and effective system of care.
Caroline Abrahams, alliance co-chairman and charity director of Age UK, said: ‘It’s galling to think what a wasted decade this has been for social care here, when so many other countries have put their social care provision on a firm financial basis and brought it up to date.
‘In many respects social care has got worse here over these ten years and the huge rise in staff vacancies is a big part of the reason why, since it is impossible to deliver consistently decent, reliable care if there aren’t enough care workers to do the job.’
Social care in England has also got worse over the past decade due to a combination of funding cuts and an increase in demand because of the ageing population.
There are now 1.7million more older people and 857,000 more adults with disabilities.
And since 2012/13, the earliest year for which comparable data are available, care workforce vacancies have shot up by 82 per cent.
There are now an additional 45,000 empty posts.
The Care and Support Alliance said that while politicians have ‘sat on their hands’ over the past decade, they have allowed the financial burden on individuals and their families needing care to increase markedly.
Mr Johnson (pictured) said on his first day as Prime Minister that he would ‘fix’ the social care crisis ‘once and for all’. But two years later and no proposals have been brought forward
The Government has also frozen capital thresholds, which determine who is eligible for help with their care bills, in what campaigners say is a stealth cut.
If the means test threshold had kept up with inflation since 2010/11 it would be nearly £6,000 higher than it is now – effectively a cut of 20 per cent. The Care and Support Alliance is a national coalition of leading charities with an interest in social care.
Miss Abrahams said: ‘It’s time for the Prime Minister to stand by his word and for politicians in all parties to demonstrate leadership on an issue which should be above politics.
‘That’s why we are calling on the public to contact their MPs, to ask them to ensure there’s real action on social care this year, not just the warm words and excuses we’re all fed up of hearing.’
Last night council leaders demanded a timetable for social care reform be set out in the next fortnight.
The Local Government Association said proposals must be brought forward by Health Secretary Sajid Javid before Parliament rises for the summer.