“Deadlines are the bane of many people’s existence and all of us miss some, but missing a deadline for the fifth time logically leads to questions of competence. As we welcomed April this week, government missed its fifth deadline for the Social Care Green Paper. At the beginning of the year Matt Hancock committed to the House of Commons that he’d publish the green paper before April. The delay, sadly, comes as no surprise. This paper has consistently fallen to the wayside and with Brexit being the all-consuming political focus domestic policy in general has taken a back seat.
“In the recent Spring Statement the Chancellor gave social care a cursory nod as he announced it will be included as part of a three year spending review to be published alongside the next budget. What remains dramatically unclear is how the Chancellor can figure out how much to set aside for social care when the illusory green paper hasn’t even been published yet. In fact the spending review has the capacity to drastically change the conversation around the green paper and social care policy as it will force policymakers’ hands to come up with a solution that fits the budget. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it moves the conversation forward.
“However, what we cannot have is conversations around this crucial area of policymaking to come to yet another grinding halt. We need a timeframe that commits to delivering the paper and not one that is another false start. The weight of the concern about how to pay for care should not be underestimated. It impacts not just those that need care, but the loved ones around them who must fill in the gap.”