The man who said he had a “clear plan” on the day that he took office now says that his administration will be the one that “gets social care done” in a recalibration of his Brexit rhetoric.
But the plain fact of the matter is that his National Insurance levy appears to have bought Ministers time – and little else.
Yes, it is the catalyst for extra funding in the NHS, sufficient sums will not be left to ensure the elderly and vulnerable receive the dignified care that should be a basic human right in a civilised society.
And while the creation of a single set of electronic patient records, one of the PM’s few new policy announcements, could lead to greater efficiency, Mr Johnson appears to be in denial about the scale of both the funding challenge and also the seriousness of the staffing crisis that he chose to overlook.
As the Institute for Fiscal Studies now makes clear, a rise of at least 3.6 per cent on council tax bills will be needed per year just for town halls to keep services running at the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic.
Tellingly, researchers say this is a minimum requirement – and that inflationary pressures could require an increase of five per cent per annum between now and 2024-25.
It’s all the more reason why Mr Johnson, and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, need to be far more honest with the public about the future funding of social care – it’s too important to be trivialised by soundbites.
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