Labour has accused Boris Johnson of holding people who are struggling to cover the cost of care “in contempt”.
The party highlighted the Government’s own figures that show nearly 15 pensioners a day run out of money struggling to pay for the cost of care.
They say the crisis has worsened under a decade of Conservative government and Boris Johnson was dishonest when he claimed he had a plan to fix it, which he appears to have forgotten since.
Currently, only those with the lowest level of savings receive publicly-funded personal care, which Labour said leaves many people facing the prospect of using their life savings or selling their home to pay for care.
Labour plans to introduce free personal care for older people with £10 billion of additional funding by 2023-24.
NHS Digital Adult Social Care Activity data from 2018-19 shows that 5,385 people – almost 15 a day – approached their local council for help after their personal funds were depleted by paying for care, an increase of 38% on the previous year.
Around 1.5 million older people ‘have an unmet need for social care’ Age UK warned just last month. By 2030, some 2.1 million could be in need of help but will not be receiving it, the charity said. It says at least £8 billion needs to be invested over the next two years, echoing recommendations from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
Shadow health minister Barbara Keeley accused the Prime Minister of ignoring the growing crisis in social care and lying when he told the nation that he had a plan to solve it.
She said: “Boris Johnson stood on the steps of Downing Street and said he had a plan to fix social care. His refusal to come forward with this plan is holding people who are struggling to cover the cost of care in contempt.
“Labour is the only party that will fix the crisis in social care. We will build a National Care Service that ensures more people receive publicly-funded care and provide free personal care for older people.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the social care crisis “was created by the Tories”.
He added: “I want everyone to be able to live with dignity, which is why we will start by introducing free personal care for older people.
“Labour is on the side of care workers and those who need care. We are committed to real change in the way that social care is delivered.”