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Care sector ‘astonished’ by King’s Speech silence on social care

Posted around 6 months ago •

 

The King’s Speech yesterday afternoon has left the care sector disappointed as it did not address social care amongst the 21 proposed legislations.

 

 

The speech outlined bills on tougher sentences for murders and rapists, and a ban on leaseholds for new houses in England and Wales. A ban on young people smoking, restrictions on vapes, and annual licenses for oil and gas projects in the North Sea were also laid out. However, the sector has been left ‘astonished’ as there was no mention of social care.

Care England CEO Martin Green expressed his disappointment with the silence on social care in the King’s Speech. He said: “When Boris Johnson was first elected as Prime Minister, he stood on the steps of 10 Downing Street and promised to fix social care. Three Prime Ministers later, that promise sits broken”.

Green went on to explain that with this silence on social care, the pressure is now on the former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, to outline how the Government can “make true on its promise” 1.

Despite the disappointment, last year’s Autumn Statement saw an unprecedented investment into the sector. The stabilisation of the social care sector is crucial for those who rely on care, for the 1.6 million strong workforce, for the NHS, the tax-payer, and the economy more broadly.

Carers Trust’s CEO, Kirsty McHugh, said: “This is the final year for the UK Government to make good on its promise to fix funding of social care but that opportunity has yet again gone begging. The Prime Minister claims to be focused on long-term solutions, so to have nothing to say on one of the most crucial long-term issues we face is astonishing and suggests this is little more than empty rhetoric. While those in power do nothing, around seven million unpaid carers will continue to prop up the social care system with no additional help”.

It is important to remember that the government has made significant investments in the sector in the past and it is possible that they will do so again in the future. Let’s hope that the government will take action to address the pressing issues facing social care soon.