Health Foundation policy expert calls for far more detail on Tory social care plans
The Conservatives have pledged that nobody will be forced to sell their home to pay for social care if they win the election, but leading health policy experts have accused them of having no real plan.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the PA news agency that nobody would need to sell their home to pay for care, although it is unclear whether this also rules out making payments upon death, if a house is sold.
He said: “Since I’ve been prime minister we’ve put another £1.5 billion into tackling the costs of social care. We will continue to put very substantial sums in every year.
“We will ensure that two things, that everybody has dignity and security in their old age and nobody, repeat nobody, has to sell their home to pay for the cost of their care.”
As part of their election pledges, the Conservatives have offered an extra £1bn per year for social care in England over the next five years.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the funding would “stabilise” the system and help councils meet rising demand for social care.
Mr Hancock said “cross-party consensus” was needed on a long-term plan.
He wrote that social care was “too important to be politicised”, and parties should work on new proposals “as soon as possible” after the election.
However, critics said the plans lacked detail and the Government has repeatedly delayed a green paper setting out a long-term settlement for social care.
Hugh Alderwick (pictured), assistant director of policy at the Health Foundation, said: “The adult social care system in England is currently failing some of the most vulnerable people in society and needs fundamental reform.
“The Government has repeatedly promised, then delayed, proposals on social care reform since 2017 – and Boris Johnson promised to ‘fix the crisis in social care once and for all’ in his first speech as prime minister.
“Yet reports emerging this morning suggest that the Conservative Party does not have a plan for social care reform beyond establishing a cross-party commission.
“While cross-party consensus will be critical to any reform succeeding, there is a clear risk that there will be further delay and no hard decisions taken for the future.
“Meanwhile, more and more people will go without the care they need.
“It is reported that the Conservatives will commit to ensuring that in future nobody has to sell their home to cover care costs, but without any detail of how this will be funded it is impossible to judge what the trade-offs may be.”
Labour is yet to announce its full plan for social care but has said people over-65 will receive free personal care.
At the moment, people are eligible for help with the cost of home or residential care if they have assets worth less than £23,250.
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