The opprobrium was quick. ‘A broken promise’, ‘A missed opportunity’, ‘A dereliction of duty’ were comments thrown the way of the Prime Minister following Sunday’s manifesto launch and the revealing of the Conservatives’ social care policy.
But for those writing the manifesto, lightning was not going to strike twice. Fixing social care is one of the most complicated and challenging long-term questions facing UK public policymakers. What was learnt from the elections in 2010 and 2017 was simple: you do not announce radical new social care policies in an election campaign. Indeed, doing so has been part of the reason we have not seen the breakthrough since 2017 that campaigners rightly crave.
After the 2017 election, a green paper was promised, delayed, delayed some more and not delivered.