The Oldham Liberal Democrats have lambasted the Conservative Government for delaying once again their long-awaited proposals to overhaul the social care system. Details are not expected to now be released until the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Autumn Statement at the earliest; this is scheduled for late November.
The Conservatives first promised to publish a Green Paper on social care for public consultation in the summer of 2017. This is now more than three years behind schedule.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, said: “This extra delay is yet another example of the prevarication shown by this uncaring Conservative Government in making policy about the future of our under-threat social care system. Due to consistent underfunding of local government and the National Health Service, the provision of quality care to our elderly is now in jeopardy, and an increasing burden is being placed on unpaid family carers.”
He added: “In 2015, the then-Coalition Government, with the Liberal Democrats as junior partners, agreed in principle to the proposals of the Dilnot Commission which recommended that there be a cap on lifetime social care charges and a more generous means-test. In July, almost immediately the Conservatives assumed office alone, the new Government postponed the introduction of these sensible measures and decided to adopt a course of prevarication.”
“I would welcome the opportunity to comment on the Government proposals, as I am sure would many others in local government and the caring professions, but these constant delays deny us that opportunity, and suggest increasingly that when it comes to social care this Government just hasn’t a clue.”
“Our older citizens deserve quality, affordable care and we should all be sure as to how we will pay for it – this is not the time for further delay, we just need to get on with it!”