DESPITE THEIR many differences, the Tory and Labour parties do have one policy in common.
It is their respective approaches to social care: do nothing in the hope that the issue goes away.
It hasn’t, hence yet another Green Paper. Yet, while this hints at progress, the reality is that it is just a discussion document which will prompt another review before the process starts afresh. And so it will go on.
However this is no consolation to all those at the mercy of a system unable to cope with demand, costs and a post-Brexit migration policy that will compound staff shortages.
Issues extensively covered by The Yorkshire Post in recent days, three salient points have emerged that Ministers should consider as their starting point. First, the call by Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, to ensure the seamless delivery of health and social care policy.
Second, the hard-hitting opinion piece by Scarborough care boss Mike Padgham, pointing out the importance of the sector being able to hire sufficient carers from the EU.
Finally, North Yorkshire County Council’s call for local government to “be an equal partner in all local discussions and plans”.
This is important. Town halls are responsibile for delivering care policy. And, while they have raised some extra funding through council tax precepts, this – together with emergency handouts by the Government on an ad hoc basis – simply not sufficient to sustain social care.
It’s why there needs to be a national consensus, one which will only emerge when the main parties work together for once in the interests of the longer-term health of the nation.