THERE will be no hiding place for Boris Johnson – and the Tories – on social care after The Yorkshire Post revealed during the election that they have no intention of publishing the much-promised Green Paper.
Yet, while a hung parliament was not necessarily conducive to advancing this issue, Mr Johnson is now liberated from such constraints and will be expected to use the Queen’s Speech to set out his intentions.
Short-term funding solutions, which effectively offset inflation, must be matched by long-term reform to avoid a postcode lottery when it comes to care provision – and funding – so the elderly, people who have saved all their lives, know where they stand.
Up to 1.5 million people now receive care which is not commensurate with their needs, according to Age UK, and there are three more compelling reasons why the PM should use today’s ceremonial speech to clarify his intentions.
First, new research shows the number of people diagnosed with dementia, the cruellest of diseases, has increased in parts of Yorkshire by up to 68 per cent in the past five years. There has certainly not been a corresponding increase in support.
Second, indecision and delay will only make it harder to come up with a solution that is financially sustainable – and Mr Johnson did name social care as a priority on day one of his premiership.
Finally, a constructive attempt, on Mr Johnson’s part, to build a cross-party consensus, so reforms last a generation, will reveal whether Labour, and the Lib Dems, intend to be serious players in the policy debate – or simply oppose for opposition’s sake.