The social care plan Boris Johnson claimed he had “prepared” 22 months ago won’t be in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday, a key ally appears to have confirmed.
Michael Gove downplayed any suggestion a plan would appear in the speech – instead saying it was still being “developed”.
And he said the British people would have to wait until later this year.
It comes despite Mr Johnson saying in his first speech as PM in July 2019: “We will fix the crisis in social care once and for all – with a clear plan we have prepared.”
Mr Gove today told Sky News: “We’ll be saying more about social care in the weeks and months to come.”
But asked if there would be a plan in the Queen’s Speech – which lays out the government’s legislative agenda – he said: “The Queen’s Speech will be concentrating on particularly how we can improve the operation of the NHS, the additional funding that will be required in order to deal with the question of… a significant backlog.”
Pressed to confirm there would be no social care plan in the speech, he replied: “We’ll be saying more in the immediate aftermath. One thing I can’t do is reveal everything that’s going to be in the Queen’s Speech.”
He added: “That plan will be unveiled later this year”.
Last week care home groups and staffing unions warned that it was “now or never” for the Government to finally get to grips with the crisis.
It is almost two years since Mr Johnson stood outside Downing Street and insisted he had a “clear plan” to give people dignity and security in old age.
Yet despite frequent promises since then his ministers have failed to provide any detail of his proposal to prop up the crippled sector.
Mr Johnson told MPs himself in March that it was “highly likely” the reforms would be in the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the Government’s legislative agenda.
But Government insiders have suggested that while it would be mentioned as an ambition, no detail will be set out on May 11.
Currently people must pay for much of their social care until their capital dwindles to just £23,250.
Several Prime Ministers have ducked chances to reform social care, leaving homes cash-strapped and vulnerable when coronavirus hit.
Theresa May’s 2017 election campaign was derailed after her attempted reforms, including raising the floor to £100,000, were dubbed a “dementia tax”.