Social care funding is still a bridge too far

By Michael Burton | 01 October 2019
  • Michael Burton

While Conservative ministers this week at their conference hammered home their message that austerity is over, the cash is flowing (to Brexit areas) and ‘blue collar Conservatism’ is now the mantra, the words that strike terror into every politician’s breast were curiously absent.

Yes, social care is still the issue that threatens to upend the party’s forthcoming election campaign, just as it did in 2017. As Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, told a conference fringe: ‘The trouble in 2017 with the Conservative manifesto pledge on social care was that as people don’t understand how much their care will really cost just raising the issue was enough to lose votes.’ Two years later the public realise funding social care is in crisis but are still nowhere near appreciating how much it might cost them.

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