Boris Johnson’s failure to implement the long-promised welfare reform will be a violation of public trust, warn two major think tanks left and right – Policy Exchange and IPPR.
Mr Johnson said on the steps of Downing Street that he would find a solution to the social services crisis by replacing Theresa May as Prime Minister last year.
However, a new poll commissioned by the two think tanks found that seven in ten voters – 68% – would view the failure of social service reform as a breach of trust.
This was consistent across all age groups, but particularly high among voters aged 55 to 74 who may be considering needing care or whose parents need support.
A third of Conservative voters in 2019 say they would be less likely to vote for the Party if a social protection solution was not found before the next general election in 2024.
Think tanks call for a two-phase approach, with the introduction of free personal care as a first step to put the sector on a better footing, followed by a commitment to provide a long-term social protection plan and a complete reform by the end. of this Parliament.
The proposal has the support of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, chairman of the House of Lords economic affairs committee and who – like Michael Forsyth – was minister in Margaret Thatcher’s government.
Writing for the Telegraph, Lord Forsyth urged the government to set aside funds for social care in this week’s ministerial spending review.
He said: “Social protection reform is no longer a subtlety, but a necessity. The public is crystal clear: the government must prioritize a social protection solution or risk paying the price for it. in the next general election. “
He said the measures proposed by the think tanks “would amount to $ 9 billion per year, compared to the holiday program which would likely cost around $ 6 billion per month.”
He added: “Investing in social protection will cost not only money but also savings by freeing up capacity in the NHS that can be redeployed to deal with the backlog created by the pandemic.
“Having seen with horror our healthcare system being invaded by a pandemic in recent months, it seems to us to be a small price to pay for the care and dignity of all disabled and vulnerable elderly people, when they have it most. need.
Mr Johnson said outside 10 Downing St in his first speech as Prime Minister in July 2019: My job is to protect you or your parents or grandparents from the fear of having to sell your house to pay the fees on call.
And so I am now announcing on the steps of Downing Street that we will settle the welfare crisis once and for all, and with a clear plan that we have prepared to give every senior the dignity and security they deserved.
In March of this year, Matt Hancock, the health secretary, told MPs in a letter sent Friday night that “structured discussions” with MPs from all parties were to begin in May.
A government spokesperson said: Our priority is to ensure that everyone receives the care and support they need, and we have provided billions of pounds of additional support to fund social care and local authorities during this pandemic.
We know there is a need to find a long-term solution for social protection and we are considering a series of proposals as part of our commitment to present a plan that puts the sector on a sustainable basis for the future.
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