By Arj Singh
Johnson was accused of breaking a Downing Street promise in July to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all […] with a clear plan we have prepared” when the Tory manifesto subsequently contained only a vague pledge to hold talks with opposition parties to find a solution.
Under questioning on the issue earlier this week, the PM promised to come up with a “massive plan” to fund care for the elderly by the end of the year.
A senior government source has now confirmed that the government aims to begin cross-party talks on a new social care policy within its first 100 days – that is, by March 22.
Whitehall is already working up ideas on how to deliver on Johnson’s pledge that no one needing care will be forced to sell their home to pay for it, and this will form the basis for talks.
Another government insider said it would be an “early opportunity to show leadership” for the new Labour leader when they take over on April 4.
Earlier, a spokesperson for Corbyn was sceptical about the government’s plans.
They told reporters: “If the government wanted to have a viable long-term social care policy they could have a look at what we laid out in the manifesto.
“As a matter of historical fact, on the efforts to go cross-party, there was the effort before the 2010 election which the Tories pulled the plug on and accused Gordon Brown of trying to have a ‘death tax’.
“Or it’s been used to kick it into the long grass as the Conservatives did in the general election.”