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Social Care

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:29 pm, 25th February 2020

I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from “House” to the end of the Question and add:

“notes that the Government is committed to fixing the crisis in social care;
and supports the Government’s commitment to find a long term solution for the growing need for care and commitment to an ambitious three point plan, including extra funding every year, seeking a cross party consensus and ensuring the prerequisite of any solution is a guarantee that no one needing care has to sell their home to pay for it.”

This is a welcome opportunity to debate social care—a subject of vital importance—and I want to set out how we must rise to the challenges and celebrate all that is good. We must recognise at the start of the debate that there is much to celebrate, including the millions of people who work in social care, to whom we pay tribute. I want to welcome someone who is new to working in social care: my hon. Friend Helen Whately, who has joined the team as Minister for Care. I pay tribute to her predecessor, my hon. Friend Caroline Dinenage, who led the care system so effectively and delivered a legacy of better training, better recruitment and a real focus on carers; that is a legacy to be proud of.

Let me start with the context for this debate. It is rightly about both adults of working age and older adults. The people of this country are living longer. Over the next decade, the population aged 75 and over is set to increase by 1.5 million, and over the next 20 years, the number of people aged 65 and over is set to increase by almost half. That is emphatically a good thing. More people living for longer is not some problem to be managed; it is an opportunity to be welcomed, and welcome it we do.