Adult social care: the Government’s ongoing policy review and anticipated Green Paper (England)



To date, the scheduled publication date of a social care Green Paper has been missed five times.


This House of Commons Library briefing paper considers the Government’s ongoing review of social care policy, in particular how it is funded by individuals and the public sector in England.


The Government said in March 2017 it would publish a consultative Green Paper on this topic, but in July 2019 the Financial Times reported that the new Prime Minister may decide that a White Paper setting out the Government’s new policies should be published instead.


The original rationale for a Green Paper was to explore the issue of how social care is funded by recipients, and a number of policy ideas have reportedly been under consideration for inclusion in the possible Green Paper including: a more generous means-test; a cap on lifetime social care charges; an insurance and contribution model; a Care ISA; and, tax-free withdrawals from pension pots.


Other topics that the Government have said would be included are integration with health and other services, carers, workforce, and technological developments, among others. Domestic and international comparisons would be also considered as part of the preparation for a Green Paper.


On 1 August 2019, the Guardian reported that the Prime Minister was “understood to have rejected voluntary insurance. In the same article The Guardian added that instead: Well-placed sources say he [Mr Johnson] has told Hancock to undertake “a fundamental and much more ambitious rethink” of the proposals in the unpublished green paper, and warned Sajid Javid, the chancellor, to be prepared to put significant sums of government money behind whatever solution emerges...



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