The Foreign Secretary vowed to help elderly Britons spend their final days in “dignity and respect” by finding a way to make it easier for families to care for their loved ones in the comfort of their own home. Mr Hunt finished second in the first round of his party’s leadership contest on Thursday, on 43 votes, trailing behind Mr Johnson’s backing of 114 MPs. The former Health Secretary is now using his take on the social care crisis as a last-ditch attempt to whip up support before the next ballot on Tuesday.
Mr Hunt, who is backed by Work & Pensions Secretary and Tory moderate Amber Rudd and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, said Britain should look to European countries when trying to figure out how to deal with social care.
He said the reason why some nations spend less on caring for their elderly than the UK, yet do not have a crisis on their hands, could be down to the fact that “families stick together”.
He told The Mail on Sunday: “Part of our Conservative vision must be that every single old person lives out their days with dignity and respect.
“We’ve got to tackle the problem at its heart and ask ourselves why countries like Italy and Spain spend less on social care than us, yet don’t have a social care crisis when we do.”
The former Health Secretary said he will work to find a way to “encourage and support the 420,000 families in this country that live in three-generation households”.
He suggested tax breaks for those who modify their homes or build new accommodation to for older members of the family.
He said his plans will “send a strong signal that if you want to stick together as a family, the state will support you”.
A policy paper on reforming social care has been hit by delay after delay since being promised by the Conservative Government in 2017.
Expanded social care support to make it easier for the elderly to access help without having to sell their home is expected to be among the proposed changes.
With an ageing population in the UK, Labour has vowed to introduce a National Care Service if they get into power.
Mr Hunt’s plans were laid bare as Tory leadership contenders prepare for the first live TV debate on Channel 4 tonight.
Mr Johnson has refused to take part, but said he will appear on the BBC’s show on Tuesday.
The five other runners in the race for Number 10 – Mr Hunt, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart – are expected to show up.