Tomorrow's Care: Backbench MPs urged to support adult social care campaign
Taken originally from Tomorrow's Care
Following the latest delay to the social care green paper, a campaigner for the introduction of an adult social care voucher scheme is calling on backbench MPs to put pressure on the government to prioritise the social care green paper.
John Woodward OBE, one of the driving forces behind the introduction of childcare vouchers in 2005, is campaigning for a similar scheme to end the adult social care crisis.
Pioneer of the Childcare Voucher Scheme used by more than 600,000 people, John is calling on backbench MPs to pressure the government into finally making clear its proposals on adult social care reform. The social care green paper, previously due after the Easter recess, has since been delayed to a summer spending review - which itself may be delayed until the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal has passed.
Mr Woodward believes the only way left to get social care back on the agenda is for backbench MPs and the opposition to wield the same power they have over the Government’s Brexit deal towards social care.
John Woodward said: “The only item on the government’s list is Brexit, because MPs have made their voices heard on this important issue. If MPs choose to wield their considerable strength against a minority government on this equally important issue, our social care system could be on a much more sustainable footing by now.
“Just as Brexit led to MPs collaborating on a cross-party basis to force the government to bring forward meaningful votes and economic projections, MPs have the power to do the same and force the government to bring forward desperately needed proposals on social care.”
Mr Woodward’s proposals, backed by Care England, would deliver more money for the social care system without requiring excessive tax rises. Based on the Childcare Voucher Scheme, Adult Social Care vouchers would offer a tried-and-tested way of delivering more money for the system that can be supported by MPs across the political spectrum.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: “Brexit or no Brexit, social care needs and deserves the attention of Parliament. For too long, it has been the poor relation to the NHS which is very short-sighted. Health and social care need to be integrated properly and funding solutions put into place.”
The scheme should form part of a mixed policy response and does not aim to provide a one-size-fits all solution to the social care crisis. Adult social care vouchers would instead allow eligible taxpayers to sacrifice a portion of their salary to fund either their own or a dependant adult’s care, giving families freedom and flexibility, while reducing the burden on the taxpayer.