Yorkshire MP must be heeded over social care, NHS and pensions ‘triple whammy’ - The Yorkshire Post says

UNLIKE Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who still appear to be denial about the scale of the challenge that will confront Britain’s next Prime Minister, the respected Yorkshire MP Kevin Hollinrake is far more realistic – and honest – with his very frank appraisal.

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake has set out the scale of the social care challenges facing the country.
Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake has set out the scale of the social care challenges facing the country.

Bemoaning some of the “spending pledges” made by the two Tory leadership candidates before they addressed party activists in York last night, the Thirsk and Malton MP expressed scepticism – the country, he says, has to be run more prudently – before outlining the policy ‘triple whammy’ facing the country.

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“We have some massive challenges ahead that we will all have to accept: the cost of healthcare that we are going to provide; the cost of pensions that we are going to have to provide; and the costs of social care,” he told Parliament.

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake.

“As things are at the moment, all this is going to land on the taxpayer. It does not seem feasible that that situation can continue, particularly in the area of social care.”

Though politically unpalatable, such candour was significant after a hard-hitting House of Lords report warned this week that it could cost up to £8bn a year to provide the elderly with the standard of care which is commensurate with their health needs.

Political pressure is growing for a long-term social care plan.

And while it may not be the number one concern of the Brexit obsessives on both sides of the EU debate, it will very quickly become the defining issue for Theresa May’s successor unless they face up to the economic and social prognosis set out by Mr Hollinrake so thoughtfully.

As such, his call for politicians to advance these matters on a cross-party basis is welcome – these issues transcend political parties – but MPs need to work alongside the care sector, the people who know the day-to-day stresses and strains all to well, and recognise that difficult decisions will have to be taken sooner rather than later if the financial crisis is not to become even more unmanageable.