If the report in tomorrow’s Observer newspaper is to be believed, there are Cabinet divisions over Andrew Dilnot’s report on the future funding of adult social care.
If we’re in a position where the Lib Dems – and particularly Nick Clegg – are in support of Dilnot’s proposals, and the Cameron/Osborne axis are against them and want to shelve the report, then it’s potentially a disaster.
Politics will have failed to address one of the major social policy issues of our time.
We’ve been down the road of trying to “solve” the adult social care funding issue so many times, starting with the Royal Commission back in 1999. In the last 18 months alone a national debate on social care, a Green and White paper, plus a Health Select Committee report have all been published, along with countless analyses by key organisations like Age UK and Carers UK.
A consensus was reached prior to the 2010 General Election, only for it to disappear as the election campaign started. Dilnot’s Commission appeared to be a serious way for the issue of social care funding to be considered and addressed, and I was hopeful for its outcomes.
If, then, Dilnot’s recommendations are to be rejected, I hope there’s a substantial and serious proposal waiting in the wings to address this most pressing of issues.
Our politicians have a moral imperative to ensure the future of social care funding is known, sustainable and fair.