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Social care and the new Parliament

Social care and the new Parliament

The new government has had its Queen’s Speech voted through the House of Commons, meaning there is now a framework for the priorities and focus of ministers and parliamentarians for the coming two years.

Later Life Ambitions is pleased that agreement reached between the Conservatives and the DUP states that the triple-lock on pensions will remain, and that there will be no means-testing of pensioners benefits.

The general election campaign saw lots of debate about how social care should be funded. The Queen’s Speech states the government will consult on social care funding, however we are concerned that whilst this takes place, more and more older people face the uncertainty and insecurity in the current system. It is the view of Later Life Ambitions that a very reasonable and fair model of social care funding was set out in 2011 following the Dilnot Commission, and as an interim until the government settles on its permanent approach, Dilnot’s recommendations should be introduce to provide immediate support.

Later Life Ambitions is seeking to influence the government’s social care consultation from the very beginning, and secure an approach that:

  • Supports closer working between health and social care services to relieve pressure on the NHS and improve hospital discharge rates
  • Increases government expenditure on adult social care as a proportion of total public expenditure
  • Provides assurances that any revenue raised to fund social care will be ring-fenced
  • Allows EU nationals working in adult social care to remain working in the UK post-Brexit
  • Establishes a Minister for Social Care that attends cabinet

We will also seek to build alliances with parliamentarians to encourage all political parties to work together to settle on an approach to social care that has the widest possible support among the public.

We are encouraged that the result of the general election could nudge the government towards a cross-party approach to social care. The power of an individual MP has greatly increased under the current arithmetic of the House of Commons, which means change is possible from the backbenchers.

Later Life Ambitions will continue working with parliamentarians of all parties to secure a fair and sustainable approach to social care. We will also continue our campaigns on health, housing, pensions and transport to support older people to lead an ambitious life.