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UK News Fury as Boris Johnson axes key meeting to fix care home funding crisis

03:20  22 june  2021
03:20  22 june  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Boris Johnson was supposed to have held a crunch meeting with the Chancellor and the Health Secretary today to decide whether to finally bring in a cap on sky-high costs. ‘It has real consequences for them, forcing many to continue to have to make do without all the help they need and constricting ‘This inaction lets down the 850,000 people living with dementia and their families, who simply can’t afford to wait any longer.’ Asked about social care funding during a visit to a laboratory in Hertfordshire yesterday, the Prime Minister said: ‘We are pledged to fix it and we must fix it for our country and for

Boris Johnson hints NO more countries added to green list. Shadow health minister Liz Kendall said: “This dithering and delay from the Prime Minister on important talks on social care reform is entirely unsurprising. We have been waiting almost two years to see his ‘clear plan’.” There are fears that Red Wall Tories could mutiny over a flat rate care costs cap, seen by some as a new poll tax. Someone in a £150,000 home in Doncaster would pay the same as someone in a £2million home in London. Instead, they are privately urging the PM to introduce a cap based on a percentage of a person’s assets.

Boris Johnson, Boris Johnson are posing for a picture: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Campaigners angrily accused Boris Johnson of cowardice last night after he again put off his promise to fix the broken care system.

He was supposed to have held a crunch meeting with the Chancellor and the Health Secretary today to decide whether to finally bring in a cap on sky-high costs.

But No 10 cancelled the meeting and it is not known when the trio will meet again. Charities warned that every week of ‘dithering’ means an extra 13,000 vulnerable pensioners being denied vital help.

It is now almost two years since Mr Johnson stood in Downing Street on his first day as Prime Minister and promised he would sort social care ‘once and for all’.

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Yesterday he insisted his Government was still planning to bring forward ‘some good plans’ – but offered no timescale.

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

He is believed to support a £50,000 lifetime cap on the costs of care to shield pensioners from catastrophic bills.

However Chancellor Rishi Sunak is concerned about having to find £10billion a year to pay for this.

It is understood that one idea under consideration is to increase the cap to £80,000 or even £100,000, which would make the scheme much cheaper, although it would not help as many people.

Jeremy Hunt, the Tory former health secretary, said last night: ‘It is deeply worrying this crucial meeting appears to have been cancelled. This process has been beset by delay after delay instead of the action we need.’

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Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice. Key Government spending promises could be axed as Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are gearing up for a showdown on how to repair the public finances after coronavirus. The pair are set for a clash over high-cost The Chancellor and Prime Minister are also said to be at loggerheads over a social care overhaul which could cost £5billion a year. A row is also brewing of the financing of the £200million National Flagship – seen as a replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia. An official described funding for the vessel as

Mr Hunt pledged to grill health minister Nadine Dorries on ‘exactly what is going on’ when she appears before the Commons health committee, which he chairs, today.

Former Tory pensions minister Baroness Altmann said: ‘The lack of attention to this issue is both callous and cowardly.

‘I don’t think that is the intention but that is the effect. Politicians in the past have always been too eager to leave this issue to successors and hope doesn’t blow up on their watch. Elderly people deserve better than that.’

Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said: ‘This delay is really bad news for older people because doing nothing just prolongs their misery, if they need good care.

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

‘It has real consequences for them, forcing many to continue to have to make do without all the help they need and constricting their lives to unacceptable degree. In care homes, this continued dithering in government about fixing social care is condemning some older people who need one-to-one support to eat and drink, to try to manage on their own.’

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Age UK said that every week the top-level meeting is delayed, a total of 26,000 people will request state help with their care and 13,000 will be refused it – largely due to town hall cutbacks.

It also means thousands of families are left paying sky-high bills – a cost that could be mitigated if a lifetime cap on care costs was introduced.

Miss Abrahams added: ‘With these repeated delays in decisions on social care, we’re starting to hear older people say they feel their trust has been betrayed, and that the lack of government action on reform feels like a breach of faith.’

James White, head of campaigns at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘Two years ago, Boris Johnson promised in his first speech as Prime Minister that he would fix the deep-rooted problems in our social care system.

‘Today was yet another day when this didn’t happen.

‘This inaction lets down the 850,000 people living with dementia and their families, who simply can’t afford to wait any longer.’

Asked about social care funding during a visit to a laboratory in Hertfordshire yesterday, the Prime Minister said: ‘We are pledged to fix it and we must fix it for our country and for our society.

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds' marriage certificate

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a man wearing a suit and tie: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

‘Social care workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic and we have got to improve it, and we will. We will be bringing forward some good plans in due course.’ It came as social care leaders wrote to the Prime Minister, along with Mr Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, to say immediate funding was needed to ensure short-term stability and ‘avoid serious risks to support’ during the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

Signatories of the letter include Stephen Chandler, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, and Professor Martin Green on behalf of the Care Provider Alliance. They called on Mr Johnson to ‘act now’ and set out proposals before Parliament’s summer recess begins on July 22, saying it was now ‘time to deliver reform’.

As well as long-term changes to funding, they also urged an ‘immediate’ cash injection to cover short-term costs incurred during the pandemic.

No 10 declined to comment on reports about the meeting to discuss the social care plan, with the Prime Minister’s official spokesman saying that, as is standard practice, he would not be drawn on ‘timings for internal meetings in government’.

The spokesman said cross-party talks on reform will take place once proposals have been revealed.

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He said he would not be drawn on how much the changes could cost or whether taxes would have to rise to pay for them, following reports the reforms could cost £10billion annually to fund.

Jeremy Hunt wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a fence: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

Asked whether he recognised the frustration with the delay in publishing the plan, he said: ‘Reforming and coming up with a long-term solution to social care has been a challenge for many years, we absolutely recognise that.

‘The Prime Minister remains completely committed to coming out with a long-term solution for social care.’

Sir Andrew Dilnot, the economist who came up with the idea for a cap on care costs, told Radio 4’s Today programme that there should also be a ‘significant increase’ in the generosity of the means-testing system. He said his plans would cost an extra £3billion to £5billion a year, on top of an extra £5billion the Treasury would have to spend anyway due to England’s ageing population.

Urging ministers to ‘be generous’, he said the overall cost was ‘not huge’ compared with wider public spending, and would have a ‘massive’ impact on individuals.

Liz Kendall, Labour’s social care spokesman, said: ‘The Tories’ cowardice on this issue is letting down millions of families across the country.

‘Ministers must set out a firm commitment to reform, and present their plans to Parliament as soon as possible.’

A government source said meetings move around all the time because of the Prime Minister’s diary.

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