Social care funding storm represents a failure of politics – The Yorkshire Post says

IT is not Boris Johnson’s fault that it falls to him, and his government, to address a financial crisis in social care left to fester by previous premiers before being exacerbated by Covid.

Boris Johnson promised to reform social care on the day that he became Prime Minister.

But he is to blame for announcing, on the day that he took office, that he had a ready-made reform plan when this was untrue.

And Mr Johnson is certainly at fault for not using the first months of his premiership to honour his commitment to seek a cross-party consensus.

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Among the many falsehoods that leave so many people doubting the PM’s trustworthiness, they also explain why the Government is facing so much opposition to its plan to break its 2019 election manifesto and raise National Insurance before the final proposals have even been laid before Parliament.

How should social care be reformed and funded?

This has all the hallmarks of a policy plan cobbled together on the back of a proverbial envelope rather than a far-reaching strategy to enhance the status of all aspects of community care across society.

If this was the case, Mr Johnson might find it easier to sell his reforms – together with their tax implications – to those sceptical Ministers and MPs whose opposition now has the potential to thwart the Government’s belated attempt to face up to the care conundrum.

And, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has long advocated care reform, his default opposition to the muted NI hike – without offering a plausible alternative of his own – further illustrates the issue’s invidiousness.

The social care challenge should be bringing out the best in our politicians. Instead the opposite is happening. And the consequences? More vulnerable people being denied the care that they need due to the abiding failure of past and present Parliamentarians to work in the national interest and start to take the unpalatable decisions that have already been put off for far too long. It’s called leadership.

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