When governments tackle serious, long-term problems, they often have to take short-term, unpopular decisions. Therefore, procrastination typically becomes the default setting for ministers. There are enough immediate challenges in simply getting through each day, so serious complications looming on the horizon can be dropped into the inbox of a future administration to tackle in years to come. The problem may have become a crisis by then — but at least somebody else will have to tackle it.

To that extent, the present government deserves credit for finally producing a plan to tackle social care funding. However, a ratcheting up of national insurance rates on workers is its proposal and this is where the applause for the Conservatives’ apparent bravery needs to end.

On the

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