Last week Boris Johnson outlined what Downing Street is billing as a once-in-a-generation shake-up of adult social care and how it is funded. It is an attempt to tackle one of the thorniest issues in modern politics – how to meet the spiralling costs of an ageing population who are living longer with complex conditions and to do it in a way that people feel is fair.
Rachel Humphreys met one woman, Lesley, who knows only too well the complexity and expense of England’s social care system. She has helped her 90-year-old mother to sell her home to pay for her continuing residential care. It’s a story that will be familiar to families across the country who have had to grapple with a labyrinthine system that can quickly burn through a lifetime’s savings.
Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation independent thinktank, tells Rachel that the government’s plan hinges on a landmark tax rise that will fall on workers across all incomes. But in doing so it has upset senior Conservatives who are worried about breaking a key manifesto pledge not to raise taxes, and infuriated Labour MPs who argue it protects the assets of the well-off while hitting low-paid workers.
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