Independent Age responds to Budget 2017
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, has commented on the Autumn Budget 2017.
With nearly a quarter of the population set to be over the age of 65 by 2030, making Britain “fit for the future” must surely include setting out plans to meet the needs of our ageing population. The fact that the words “social care” didn’t even merit a mention in the Chancellor’s budget speech is a stark omission.
While the recently-announced Green Paper looks to address the long term sustainability of the social care system, the Chancellor has done nothing new to tackle the current funding gap of £1.3 billion and meet the urgent needs of older people today, let alone in 2030. 1.2 million older people are currently estimated to have an unmet care need, and just this week we have published research showing that some councils are struggling to meet their responsibilities under the Care Act.
A country fit for the future must be fit for all. Government plans must also include measures such as building a housing stock that meets the needs of older people, accessible towns, cities and transport, increasing the proportion of older people able to access digital services, and supporting services that reduce the impact on loneliness.
If we are to ensure that no one is left behind, as the Prime Minister promised when she formed the current Government, it is disappointing to see an opportunity missed to work towards the UK being the best place in the world to grow old.