Matt Hancock has dismissed pensioners’ concerns over social care as “total rubbish” – refused to say when a crunch meeting on Boris Johnson’s promised plan to fix the system will take place.
The Health Secretary was asked about a meeting said to be scheduled for today between him, Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to discuss the plan, which the PM said had been prepared two years ago.
But speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley this morning, Mr Hancock wouldn’t say whether the meeting had been cancelled or when it would eventually take place.
Ms Burley said: “I think I’m right in saying something like 18,000 pensioners a week are finding themselves in a position where they’re being moved from hospital to social care and they don’t know whether they’re going to lose their houses because the Prime Minister’s not delivered on his promise of dealing with social care.”
Mr Hancock replied: “Well I don’t know where to start on the total rubbish in that question, Kay.”
He went on: “Firstly I’m absolutely not going to get into diary management, I talk to the Prime Minister every single day and we’re working very closely together on the delivery of this policy.
“But the second thing is we absolutely were working on the plan before the pandemic struck.
“But you’ll understand and your viewers will undoubtedly understand that when the pandemic struck it was all hands on deck to protect lives and get us out of this as soon as possible.
“The vaccine is doing that, and the Prime Minister has committed to delivering this plan before the end of the year and we’re going to do that.”
No10 said yesterday that the PM was “finalising” work on the two year old plan.
On August 1, 2019, the Prime Minister said: “I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all, and with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.”
But almost two years on, No10 said work on the plan is ongoing, and refused to reveal any detail of the plan, when it will be announced and how other parties would be involved – another of the Prime Minister’s promises.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said yesterday: “We’re finalising the work on bringing forward our proposals for coming up with a long term solution for social care.”