Care, cuts and the coalition
JEF SMITH surveys social care’s prospects under the new political regime
To general surprise, the hung Parliament against which the major parties had warned in apocalyptical terms produced a coalition government after only a few days of tense negotiations. It is a source of wonder that politicians who for years had been at each others’ throats quickly established apparently friendly relations when power looked within their grasp. It remains to be seen however how long the Lib Dem lamb can survive cohabitation with the Conservative lion to which it has so cosily cuddled up.
For the social care sector, interest inevitably focused chiefly on the other Minister of State post, which carries responsibility for carers, adult safeguarding, end of life care, dementia, mental health, and physical and learning disabilities, as well as, crucially, long term care funding. This role is occupied by Paul Burstow, the sole Liberal in the Department of Health team.
Mr Burstow comes to the job he must have dreamed of getting from a