• Social care can kicked down the road. In July 2019, the Prime Minister promised his Government would “fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared”. But a plan for social care was missing from last week’s Queen’s Speech, which set out the Government’s legislative agenda for this year.
  • ~~Response. Care organisations have been left “extremely disappointed” by the lack of announcements on social care last week. NHS Confederation Chief Executive Danny Mortimer says: “The NHS and social care are sister services – if one suffers so does the other – and the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how fragile and in dire need of reform England’s social care system has become… reform must no longer be delayed”.

  • Debunking Treasury opposition. The Prime Minister’s favoured plan for funding reform is a cap on care costs to ensure those who need extensive adult social care do not face sky-high fees, as recommended in 2011 by the Dilnot Commission. Senior Health Foundation researchers explain this proposal and counter reported Treasury objections that the cap would not be affordable.
  • ~~(The authors note that a cap alone would not be sufficient to ‘fix’ social care – see bullets below for resources on wider reform proposals.)

  • Care spending as investment. The Women’s Budget Group (WBG) argues that chronic underspending on care reflects a gender bias in economic policy-making, and calls for such spending to be seen as investment in social infrastructure to counter this.
  • ~~Biden’s shift on social infrastructure. In line this approach, President Biden treated care as infrastructure spending in his American Jobs Plan, allocating $400bn to investment in care and health systems (see our summary and analysis here).
  • ~~Care as stimulus. Previous analysis from the Women’s Budget Group estimated that investing in care as part of an economic stimulus package would provide almost three times as many jobs than the equivalent investment in construction.

  • Blueprint for reform. The Women’s Budget Group Commission on a Gender-Equal Economy has laid out the roadmap for a creation of a “Caring Economy", including recommendations both for particular public services (e.g. including a Universal Care Service) and for how public services are treated within the UK’s broader economic policy framework, ending the chronic undervaluing of care.
  • ~~Health and care. The King’s Fund has published “five priorities for health and care” as part of the “road to renewal” for the health and care system considering together.
  • ~~An industrial strategy for care. CLES's Isaac Stanley and Common Wealth's Adrienne Buller and Mathew Lawrence released a report outlining a people-centred industrial strategy for a care-led recovery in England. The report is backed by UNISON and the TUC calls for councils ending the use of private care providers, a living wage for care workers and properly funding care through progressive taxation. (Independent coverage here)
  • ~~Childcare. The New Economics Foundation has made the case for a Childcare Infrastructure Fund to sustain the childcare sector in the face of both Covid-related and longer-term pressures.
Weekly Updates


Environment and climate change

  • Local financing of solar panels. Torbay Council outlined plans for a £1m community green bond, the third local authority to launch a scheme for local people to invest in environmentally friendly projects in their area.

Welfare, public services and inequalities

  • Social guarantee. New site SocialGuarantee.org sets out a policy framework in which every person’s access to life’s essentials is enshrined as a right and delivered through reimagined public services. The site curates a range of resources, including examples of best practice from around the world in provision of services such as adult social care, transport, housing, internet access, and childcare. (Launch video)


  • Addressing the housing crisis through a Land Commission. Over 50 organisations, including housing and climate groups, trade unions and charities, have signed an open letter to Andy Burnham calling for a democratic approach to managing public land in Greater Manchester.

Macroeconomic policy

  • Fiscal policy and human rights. The Centre for Economic and Social Rights and a number of Latin American and Caribbean policy experts have developed a set of Principles for Human Rights in Fiscal Policy. They argue this is a “ground-breaking normative tool that distills the key human rights principles applicable to tax and budget policies and translates them into more concrete guidelines for the design, implementation, and assessment of fiscal policies”.

  • US moves against tax havens. 97 Nonprofit organisations across the world signed Financial Accountability & Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition’s petition to support the Disclosure of Tax Havens and Offshoring Act, a piece of US legislation to require large PLCs to disclose accounts data on a country-by-country basis to shine a spotlight on tax avoidance.

  • UK resisting US global minimum corporate tax. The FT reported that Rishi Sunak is “holding back support for Joe Biden’s plans for a 21 per cent minimum global business tax rate”. Tax Justice UK Director Robert Palmer argued the move was “not a good look” for a government with a stated commitment to tackling tax avoidance and argued Biden’s proposals could be a “game-changer”.
  • ~~International alignment. The OECD is overseeing a forum to overhaul the international tax architecture and coordinate national tax proposals to prevent arbitrage and a race to the bottom. The Economist argued that “Tax authorities should do away with the fiction that intangible capital can be priced accurately through transfer pricing and instead try to reflect where activity takes place, by looking at sales and where employees are.”

  • BoE speech on Central Bank Digital Currency. Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of Financial Stability at the Bank of England, gave a speech on the future of publicly-issued money in a world of crypto-currencies: “we are seeing accelerating changes in the way we live and transact that will greatly reduce and perhaps eventually eliminate the role that public money plays in the economy today".