Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Opposition and the Oldham Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, has slammed the Conservative Government for delaying further the publication of a promised Green Paper on the future funding of social care.
In the March 2017 Budget, the Conservative Government said that it would publish a Green Paper on social care in order to allow a public consultation to be held and promised to do so in the summer of 2017. This was then put back to summer 2018 and recently Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP announced it will now be published in the autumn.
Commenting Councillor Sykes 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 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 2015, almost immediately the Conservatives assumed office alone, the new Government postponed the introduction of these sensible measures, and decided on their 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 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!”