Monday, January 31, 2022

Funding health and social care

I explained yesterday in my post on the paradox of democracy that I think the Prime Minister and Chancellor were right to confirm that they will stick to the recovery plan and introduce the Health and Care Levy in April, fixing social care and managing the public finances responsibly. 

  • The £400 billion of support the government provided businesses and families and our world-beating vaccine rollout means Britain now has the fastest-growing economy in the G7 and youth unemployment at a record low. Nevertheless, Covid has been a colossal shock and six million of us are now waiting for some form of treatment.
  • To clear the backlog, we must fix social care, which is something which has needed doing under governments of all parties for decades. This will be funded through a Health and Care Levy – raising £39 billion for nine million more checks, scans and operations, 50,000 more nurses, and boosting social care.
  • It was only possible to spend the vast amount which was spent to protect families and businesses during Covid, including the billions spent on the furlough scheme and other support given to business to keep people in jobs, more billions in extra support to the most vulnerable families through the 18-month temporary uplift to Universal credit, and billions of extra funding through local government,  because Conservative-led governments had been responsible with the public finances. It will be equally important to take the same responsible approach to our recovery plan – from tackling the cost of living to fixing the backlogs.

In my humble opinion - and this is my view, not a promise or a statement of government policy - I believe that this will need to be, and will be, accompanied by targetted assistance to those most affected by fuel poverty and the rise in the cost of living.

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