Boris Johnson pledges long-awaited social care reform ‘bringing forward plans later this year’

Boris Johnson has pledged to unveil his long-awaited social care plan later this year, as he warned that young people will need to start thinking about the cost of being looked after in old age.

The Prime Minister (pictured) said the coronavirus pandemic has “highlighted the difficulties” with the sector which needs “reform” and “improvement”.

Appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Johnson said he would bring forward a plan later this year.

“The pandemic has highlighted the difficulties that the social care sector is in – it clearly needs reform and it needs improvement,” he told MPs.

“But there is also the issue of people being forced to sell their homes to pay for their care and that’s something that we want to address and we will be bringing forward plans later this year.”

Mr Johnson said the social care sector should have a “long-term plan” like the NHS’s 10-year blueprint.

“Clearly if you’re going to reform social care, you’re going to need younger people also – it’s more difficult for older people – you’re going to need the younger generation to start thinking about the eventual cost of their social care.

“We need to start having that conversation with the public.”

He made the comments in response to a question from Health and Social Care Committee chairman Jeremy Hunt, who has previously warned that Mr Johnson has a “now or never” opportunity to put in place a long-term plan.

Successive governments have failed to address a situation which can both leave families facing ruinously expensive care costs while the system as a whole struggles for funding.

Mr Johnson used his first speech as Prime Minister in July 2019 to say “we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve”.

But little progress has been made and the coronavirus pandemic has set back efforts to produce a new system.

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