Another horrific situation is being formed by the Tories with the announcement of their plans for social care in their 2017 election manifesto. The plans have been heavily criticised by Sir Andrew Dilnot, a former adviser to the government. He said on the BBC Radio 4 today programme:
“There’s nothing you can do to protect yourself against care costs, you can’t insure it because the private sector won’t insure it, and by refusing to implement the cap that Conservatives are now saying they’re not going to provide social insurance for it.
“So people will be left helpless knowing that what will happen is if they’re unlucky enough to suffer the need for care costs, they’ll be entirely on their own until they’re down to the last £100,000, all of their wealth including their house.
“The analogy is a bit like saying to somebody you can’t insure your house against burning down, if it does burn down then you’re completely on your own, you have to pay for all of it until you’re down to the last £100,000 of all your assets and income.”
Social care is well over due a massive rethink. But this not the plan that will work for country. Is this all the Tories have to offer? After 7 years of governing? After 7 years of doing nothing but let social care descend further in to trouble?
It could have been so different
Just think what we could have had. In the 2010 election Labour promised a radical overhaul, to create a National Care Service to ensure everyone gets some help, staff were properly treated and people had reassurances about what to expect in retirement. It would have had the say ideals as the NHS. Free at the point of use and paid for based on ability, rather than need.
And who was leading these plans? Andy Burnham. Now successfully elected mayor of over 2.8m people in Greater Manchester. The second most powerful elected person in Labour. One of the most powerful politicians in the whole UK. He would have made a great success of this plan and social care would have been revolutionised for generations.
Yet the country made the decision to miss out on this in 2010 and has suffered as a result. Will you make a bigger mistake this time an give the Tories a huge majority?