Mr Hunt believes the opportunity to establish a long-term plan for funding social care is “now or never” and notes public support for the sector during the coronavirus pandemic. He says its legacy would be like the establishment of the NHS after the Second World War.
Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Hunt, chair of The Commons Health and Social Care Committee, said this “is another 1948 moment”.
In July 2019, Mr Johnson said in his first speech as Prime Minister: “I am announcing now – on the steps of Downing Street – that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.”
He believes a tax on the middle-aged, similar to that of Germany and Japan, could supply the funding, stating: “Both of them, interestingly, introduced a tax surcharge to people over 40, which is only a small amount extra, but as you get older you start to pay a little bit more. And neither have had public pushback for doing that.”
The Health and Social Care Committee has called for £7billion additional annual funding by 2023-24.
The MPs recommended a £46,000 cap on the total costs anyone should have to pay for their care.
Mr Hunt, health secretary from 2012 to 2018, told PA: “We were even more bankrupt as a country after the Second World War and then we had the imagination and vision to set up the NHS, and I think this is another 1948 moment.
“I just think the year after the pandemic, if we don’t do it now, it really is now or never. Because the public has never understood better how important our care system is.”
Mr Hunt, who ran against Mr Johnson for the Tory leadership, added: “I don’t think Boris needs me to tell him this, but boldness always pays off in politics.
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Andy Burnham, a Labour former health secretary and now mayor of Greater Manchester, told PA people are now aware of the “broken” care system.
He said: “I hope that people will demand reform of social care coming out of this.
“Another pandemic could hit any time and to let social care go into another pandemic in this state is immoral.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We are focused on ensuring all those who need it get the care and support to stay safe and well during the Covid-19 pandemic and throughout this winter, including through regular testing of staff and residents and free PPE.
“We remain committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals as soon as possible.”