Social care and the election: we need to talk about the money

By Richard Humphries | 05 May 2015
  • Richard Humphries

Former New York governor Mario Cuomo once said that politicians campaign in poetry but govern in prose. When it comes to social care issues in the current election campaign, most UK politicians are struggling with even basic literacy.

How we fund and deliver good care for an ageing population in which younger people with care and support needs are also living longer is one of the most pressing public policy challenges of our generation.

Thanks to the excellent work of the Care and Support Alliance and others, the care system is emerging from the shadows and attracting a higher media profile. It even made it into the party leaders’ debates. But is the rhetoric of politicians reflected in what the party manifestos are saying about social care?

The Conservatives say they will integrate social care with health through the Better Care Fund and ’guarantee’ that people will not have to sell their home to pay for social care (Tony Blair said something similar in 1997). Social care is one of the functions that will be devolved to cities – ‘DevoManc’ is name checked. Nothing about funding.

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