Ministers have no choice but to grasp the care nettle

By Michael Burton | 13 December 2016
  • Michael Burton

Governments are poor at tackling intractable long-term social problems until they have no choice either because a far-sighted minister just gets on with it (like Steve Webb as pensions minister who pushed through workplace pension reform) or a straight-talking advisor lays it on the line (Louise Casey on troubled families and more recently integration).

When it comes to social care successive governments have bottled it until now when the warning shouts simultaneously from both the health and care lobbies about the approaching cliff have become deafening. We now know that the utter lack of mention of social care in the Autumn Statement was down to a dispute between No 10 and the Treasury, the former concerned any increase in council tax would muddy the message that the Government was helping the ‘just about managing’.

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Health Whitehall Finance Adult social care Autumn Statement