Boris Johnson’s social care reforms are grossly unfair

Editorial: The new policy is nothing less than a powerful engine of inequality

Monday 22 November 2021 22:30
23 November 2021
23 November 2021

Ever been to Peppa Pig World?” the prime minister asked the bemused delegates at the CBI conference. Not many had, it seems, not least because of the Covid-19 lockdowns over the past 20 months or so, the imposition of which not being aided by Boris Johnson’s disastrous prevarications and confusions.

It was a low point, but perhaps a mercy to the assembled business folk that he got the pages of his speech mixed up, and stopped jabbering. At least the silence was comprehensible, punctuated only by some utterances of “forgive me”. Despite a vague commitment to “levelling up” as a “moral mission”, Mr Johnson was wise to avoid any reference at all to the government’s latest evolution of its social care policy. Which could easily be labelled it’s social “don’t care” policy.

It is effectively a tax policy reversed and turned upside down. It is eye wateringly, heartrendingly unfair. Rather than richer people (and their descendants) paying proportionately more for their care in old age or disability, or even the same as poorer families, it means that they will pay proportionally less. In its way, it is quite an achievement for an administration to come up with such a regressive policy and yet market it as a fair and equitable package of reforms. Flawed as it was before, it is now unacceptable.

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