The government has missed its fifth deadline for its much-awaited social care green paper after it first revealed its intention to publish the report more than two years ago.
In the March 2017 spring budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond pledged £2bn extra for social care and confirmed a green paper on social care funding would be published later that year.
Later in 2017, the then-first secretary of state Damian Green announced the paper would be published by summer 2018. Having missed that target, it has now been 25 months since Hammond first stated the government's intention to publish such a paper.
Quilter tax and financial planning expert Rachael Griffin said missing a deadline for the fifth time "logically leads to questions of competence".
"As we welcomed April, the government missed its fifth deadline for the social care green paper," she said. "At the beginning of the year Matt Hancock committed for the House of Commons that he'd publish the green paper before April. The delay, sadly, comes as no surprise.
"This paper has consistently fallen by the wayside and, with Brexit being the all-consuming political focus, domestic policy in general has taken a back seat."
Griffin said it was "drastically unclear" how Hammond could figure out how much money to set aside for social care without the paper.
She continued: "What we cannot have is conversations around this crucial area of policymaking to come to yet another grinding halt. We need a timeframe that commits to delivering the paper and not one that is another false start.
"The weight of the concern about how to pay for care should not be underestimated. It impacts not just those that need care, but the loved ones around them who must fill in the gap."
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Equates to seven million people