Commenting on the Queen’s Speech delivered today (11 May 2021) at the State Opening of Parliament, Tan Suee Chieh, President at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, said:
“The Prime Minister committed to fixing social care in his December 2019 re-election promise. Today’s Queen’s Speech presented an opportunity for the government, at the very least, to indicate next steps and a clear timeline for tackling the social care funding crisis.
“The pressures facing the health and social care system are largely driven by the UK’s changing demographics. The population is growing, individuals are living longer, and there is a rising proportion of older people. In the face of profound demographic change, it is increasingly likely that more and more people will require long-term care in later life.
“These pressures on the social care system have been exacerbated by Covid-19 and the need for health and social care integration. This Queen’s Speech was an opportunity to set out a clear strategy and a practical plan for tackling social care in both the short and the long term. Whilst it is important that this complex issue is addressed comprehensively, and the government should seek to provide clarity around the level of care provided and who will pay for it, we are concerned that another key moment has passed with no comprehensive plan and an unclear timetable remains.
“As set out in our recent report, The Great Risk Transfer, we believe the government must support individuals to manage financial risks, such as those incurred by the need for social care. We urge the government to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including drawing on the professional expertise of the IFoA, to develop a consensus around proposals that can help unlock this impasse for the benefit of the public good.”