Boris Johnson promises cross-party talks on social care will begin by end of March

Efforts to tackle the social care crisis are expected to begin by the end of March as Boris Johnson promised “dignity and security” in old age.

The issue is being treated as a priority in Number 10, with cross-party talks expected within the first 100 days of the Prime Minister’s new administration.

So far no discussions have taken place with Labour, but Mr Johnson used Prime Minister’s Questions to call for a consensus.

“We do intend to begin with cross-party talks to build a consensus and I think there’s a growing consensus in this country on the need to tackle the issue of social care so everybody has dignity and security in their old age, nobody has to sell their home to pay for the cost of their care,” he said.

“We can do it and we will do it, with the help and co-operation of the Labour Party and other parties in this House, we will go ahead with a fantastic plan for social care.”

Jeremy Corbyn told Mr Johnson it had been “almost three years since the Government promised a Green Paper on social care and seven months since the Prime Minister stood on the steps of Downing Street and said he had prepared a clear plan to fix the crisis in social care”.

“Well, what is the hold-up? Where is the plan?” he demanded.

The Tory manifesto promised talks on how to fund care for the elderly in the long term, while also boosting care budgets by £1 billion per year.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister said his election victory would allow him to produce a plan within 12 months and have the changes introduced by 2025.

Mr Johnson had been coy on over-committing to social care pledges after seeing his predecessor Theresa May’s 2017 election campaign derailed by claims that she was about to introduce a “dementia tax”.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Johnson said: “This has been shirked by governments for about 30 years.

“Now we have the majority we need, we are going to get on with this so people can get the care they need in their old age but don’t have to sell their home.”

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