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, pioneer of the Childcare Voucher Scheme, used by more than 600,000 people, 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. He 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, (the representative body for independent providers of adult social care), would deliver more money for the social care system without requiring excessive tax rises. Based on the innovative Childcare Voucher Scheme, first introduced by Busy Bees in the late 1990s, 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. A salary sacrifice scheme, as proposed by Busy Bees, is an innovative solution that if implemented could have many benefits as well as embracing intergenerational care”
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.