HERE are another three million reasons why MPs need to resolve Brexit – and shift the focus back onto the neglected domestic policy agenda.
This is the extent to which Britain’s population is due to rise over the next decade from 66.4 million last year to 69.4 million residents by mid-2028 according to the Office for National Statistics.
The Yorkshire Post makes no apology for, yet again, highlighting this issue – the challenge is persuading the Government to act when its reforms are years late and when Ministers seem so unmoved by the 1.4 million elderly and vulnerable people currently receiving insufficient and, in some cases, inadequate care.
For while Boris Johnson did, in fairness, mention the importance of the issue on the steps of 10 Downing Street when he vowed to prove the country’s ‘doubters, doomsters and gloomsters’ wrong, his priority, so far, has been an acceleration of the hospital rebuilding programme.
And while this is important and will be welcomed by patients in those cities, like Leeds, which will be amongst the beneficiaires, the fact of the matter is that it is the profound shortages in the provision of community care – as well as austerity cuts to council budgets that Ministers concede went too far – which is leaving NHS hospitals struggling to cope.
With the UK population due to rise by 4.5 per cent, the need for a clear, coherent and costed care plan has never been greater – the problem is that it will be as difficult as Brexit to find agreement. It is also a task that become harder with every further day of delay as Mr Johnson begins to scale back his Queen’s Speech ambitions less than 100 days after taking office.