Care crisis’ answers are already out there

By Michael Burton | 11 March 2020
  • Michael Burton

It would be too easy to dismiss health and social care secretary’s Matt Hancock’s letter last week asking MPs to build a ‘cross-party consensus’ on social care as political posturing – very easy in fact, considering a Green Paper on the subject has been floating round Whitehall for over a year.

Nonetheless, his offer, which builds on a pledge by Boris Johnson, is currently the only game in town. Furthermore, both Labour and Conservatives have in the past behaved disgracefully in using social care as a political football whenever either side attempts to come up with an answer to what is a cross-party problem. Matt Hancock’s letter does allude to this when he comments coyly that ‘since 1997’ – when Labour came to power – ‘successive Governments have tried and failed to find a long-term solution to funding social care.’

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