Queen’s Speech paves way for social care reform

Queen reading her speech 2014

The Queen’s Speech has set out the Government will consult on proposals to reform and improve long-term care.

Speaking in the House of Lords this morning, the Queen says: “My ministers will work to improve social care and bring forward proposals for consultation.”

Social care reform represented a thorn in the side of the Conservative Party’s 2017 general election campaign as Prime Minister Theresa May came under fire for a U-turn on its manifesto pledge, after belatedly announcing there would be a cap on social care costs.

Royal London policy director Steve Webb says: “No one can know with any certainty how much they might have to pay for their care, how much the Government will contribute and whether they will have to sell their home.”

He adds: “But the lack of a government majority could be an opportunity to seek cross party consensus on social care funding, so that a system can be put in place which will resolve these issues once and for all and give clarity to families wrestling with these complex issues.”

Financial guidance bill announced

National news outlets have reported a financial guidance and claims bill to create the single body that will provide publicly funded guidance will also be introduced.

The Government is working to merge The Pensions Advisory Service, The Money Advice Service and Pension Wise into a single entity, no earlier than autumn 2018.

New pensions minister Guy Opperman has been given responsibility for the introduction of the single financial guidance body.

Prime Minister May has cancelled the Queen’s Speech next year, which means a two-year parliamentary session will take place rather than the traditional one-year session.

According to the Telegraph, Government sources say the two-year session would give time for laws needed for Brexit to be fully debated.

The speech also announced a bill that will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act to “provide certainty for individuals and businesses”.

The speech says: “This will be complemented by legislation to ensure that the United Kingdom makes a success of Brexit, establishing new national policies on immigration, international sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture, and fisheries.”

The Queen says her Government will “seek to maintain a deep and special partnership with European allies and to forge new trading relationships across the globe”.