Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care
At the invitation of the First Minister, I am pleased to chair the Inter-Ministerial Group on Paying for Social Care. This will take forward work initially started by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance as part of the national debate on new tax ideas. A social care levy was one of the shortlisted ideas.
The group will examine the relevant policy considerations associated with introducing a social care levy, including future models of social care which are developing. It will also consider the work carried out by Professor Gerald Holtham on a social care levy.
The membership of the group reflects the intended cross-government focus, and therefore includes the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Minister for Housing and Regeneration.
At its first meeting on 27 June, the group agreed its terms of reference and an initial work programme, which consists of five distinct work streams.
These work streams include the raising, distribution and use of additional funding to support a seamless, integrated health and social care service, consistent with the vision set out in A Healthier Wales, our long-term plan for health and social services. The workstreams also include the development of a communications strategy to engage citizens and the social care sector, as well as relationships with the UK Government in recognition of the many inter-dependencies between this agenda in Wales and the wider UK welfare system. As part of that the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and I will send a joint letter to relevant UK Ministers to outline our approach, and to seek a constructive dialogue between our two governments.
Professor Holtham will attend the group’s next meeting later this month to discuss his recently published report Paying for Social Care, which provides an economic analysis underpinning his concept of a social care levy in Wales.
I will keep Members updated as the work of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Paying for Social Care progresses.