I’ve long argued that social care is facing a funding crisis – not least thanks to years of government cuts. So it was interesting to see several of the party manifestos for the general election focussing on the sector.
The Tory plan has received a great deal of attention – sadly, it’s woefully inadequate. The party who caused so many of the problems with the social care system in recent years risk causing further problems if they’re re-elected next month.
Their proposals threaten a further demolition of the welfare state, which will leave all but the very poorest forced to cough up for their care.
Rather than developing a genuinely collective care system – where risk and responsibility are shared – the Tories want to pass the costs onto individuals and their families.
Instead of comprehensive social care cover, what the Tories propose is nothing short of a lottery – a tax on dementia. Families will be abandoned to care for their loved ones themselves – but only if they can somehow afford a year of unpaid leave, as Theresa May has proposed.
It’s not surprising then that Andrew Dilnot – the original architect of proposals for a cap has revealed himself to be completely disillusioned with the latest Tory attempt to water them right down.
The Dilnot proposals the last government promised to implement, although not perfect, at least involved the pooling of risk. Their new funding proposals just put more of an onus on people unlucky enough to have to use social care to pay for it all themselves.
Under the Tories, private care firms would have a field day, upping their profits, while staff and the elderly continue to get a rough deal.
That’s just one reason why we need to see this Tory government defeated on 8 June – our social care system is in crisis and the Conservative Party just doesn’t have the answers.