In their later years, I personally cared for both of my parents until they sadly passed away. My Dad was unwell for over 25 years after a head injury at work and became disabled, so I truly understand how hard it is to see loved ones suffering, how important it is to ensure they are able to receive the care and support they need, as well as the financial difficulties caring for someone brings.
I think it’s important to understand what we are talking about. Social care is all forms of personal care and other practical assistance for children, young people and adults who need extra support because of illness or disability. It includes meals on wheels, home adaptions, different types of housing, including care homes and sheltered housing, and help at home from a paid carer.
It is no secret our Social Care is in desperate need of additional investment and reform, to ensure families across the country can rest easy in the knowledge that loved ones will receive the care they deserve. The reality is the cost of fixing social care is substantial, and it would be irresponsible to fund this through further borrowing, when we are committed to taking a sensible approach as we continue our economic recovery in the months and years to come.
That is why, this week, the PM set out the new sustainable plan for the NHS and social care, which will mean our health service has the long-term resources it needs, while fixing the social care system. This new £36 billion package – funded by a UK wide 1.25 per cent ringfenced Health and Social Care Levy – that will help to tackle NHS backlogs, reform adult social care, and bring the health and social care system together on a sustainable footing.
There have been a number of debates over the last couple of days, and my colleagues, including the Prime Minister, have made it clear this is by far the best approach to fixing social care. To read the PM’s statement on Tuesday, visit here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-to-the-house-of-commons-on-health-and-social-care-7-september-2021
In context, for those earning around £25,000 per year, their current contribution of £1,852 would increase to £2,006 – a rise of £154, the equivalent of £12.83 a month, or £3.20 a week – the cost of one large takeaway coffee! A small price to pay to fix social care for millions of people in the years ahead.
Over the next three years, this will fund the biggest catch up programme in NHS history, providing an extra 9 million checks, scans, and operations; and increase NHS capacity to 110 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels by 2023-24. This includes:
- Introducing a cost cap of £86,000 over a lifetime, applying irrespective of where you live, how old you are, how much you earn, or your health condition.
- Covering all care costs for anyone with assets with under £20,000.
- Increasing the threshold above which the state stops support from £23,500 to £100,000, meaning anyone with assets between £20,000 to £100,000 will receive state contributions.
Under the current care system, around one in seven people now pay over £100,000 for their care and there are unfair and often catastrophic discrepancies. This is absolutely unacceptable and this investment is desperately needed. I do believe it is also the fairest way to spread the cost across society, and ensure those earning the most will contribute the highest amount.
Once again, Labour have chosen to blindly criticise without providing any plausible alternatives, which is only serving to show their lack of vision for how to take on the challenges this country are facing. This Government have been decisive and willing to make difficult decisions in unprecedented times, while Labour choose to play politics and stoke divisions, despite calling for action on this matter for many years.
Therefore, I believe it’s right we act now to ensure the health and care system has the long-term funding it needs to continue fighting COVID and end the injustice of catastrophic costs for social care.
To read yesterday’s debate, please visit here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-09-07/debates/885F7042-E007-4868-8B37-4C2546541114/HealthAndSocialCare?highlight=social%20care#contribution-A6FD5C8C-3529-4E62-AA57-43DB9BCAF917