Social care was notable by its absence from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. But the care system is now firmly back on the agenda following reports yesterday that Theresa May was set to allow councils to raise bills to plug the social care funding gap. The Daily Mail agrees that this is an issue that needs to be fixed urgently, saying that the UK is in ’severe danger of failing to meet’ the moral test of how well a society looks after the elderly. And for all the problems we’re seeing today, ‘things are about to get much worse’, the paper warns, with the introduction of the living wage, for one, likely to send care home fees soaring. So is the Government right to suggest upping council tax bills to stave off this crisis? The Mail suggests there’s a more obvious source of cash which won’t cost ’hard-pressed families up to £80 next year’. Instead, the Mail says, the solution is ‘staring the Government in the face’, with the paper suggesting it could be time to end ‘the baleful legacy’ of David Cameron and scrap the target for spending 0.7 per cent of the country’s GDP on aid. If Theresa May does this, ‘she could solve the care funding crisis at a stroke,’ the paper concludes.
Meanwhile the Sun leads on the 48-hour walkout by Southern drivers in its editorial this morning. The paper paints the strikes as a ‘grim reminder’ of how the ‘hard left’ is willing to use the public as ‘cannon fodder’. But Southern bosses don’t fare much better in the paper’s assessment of what has gone wrong. The Sun says this is, ultimately, a scrap between ‘useless bosses and pig-headed militants feigning concern for passenger safety’.