New Labour has launched a six month consultation into the funding of social care for older and disabled people. Health secretary Alan Johnson says that over the next 20 years there will be a £6 billion funding shortfall just to maintain current care provisions.
Social care is already vastly inadequate. Many local councils operate care rationing and means-testing – so often only those in extreme need and without savings receive any help.
The Care Inspectorate reported earlier this year that 281,000 people with real needs are left with no assistance at all.
In Scotland everyone in need is entitled to free personal care. Disgracefully New Labour says this is unaffordable in England and Wales.
A study by the TUC earlier this year calculated that tax avoidance by the super-rich amounts to £13 billion every year – far more than the shortfall identified by Johnson.
Maybe Labour could consider this in its social care funding consultation?