The long-awaited and much-needed reform of adult social care will be delayed, according to reports. Here we go again. A report in the Financial Times on Monday said that the Queen's Speech on May 9 will emphasise the importance of social care reform, but there will be no bill on it in the coming session of parliament. While the social care white paper is set to be published in June, and ministers will be given "drafting authority" to prepare legislation, it will not be introduced until the following parliamentary session. This means any legislation will not become law before late 2013 at the earliest, the report added. On reading this disappointing, if not entirely unexpected, news, I sighed and shook my head. I suspect many other people will have done the same as, yet again, social care reform appears to have been kicked into the long grass. The primary reason for this appears to be funding, or the lack of it. Again, no change there. For instance, last year, the Treasury baulked at the estimated cost of implementing the recommendations of the Dilnot report - between £1.3 and £2.2 billion - and doesn't appear to have changed its stance. With the austerity programme set to continue for the foreseeable future, it probably won't either. The Government is also still licking its wounds from the fallout from the "granny tax" in March's Budget. This measure, which phases out a specific personal tax allowance to pensioners, caused outrage when it was announced. The Government may want the dust to settle on this before it announces more details on legislation that affects pensioners' wallets. There is also the thorny problem that Dilnot did not address in too much depth - the under-funding of the social care system and the need for long-term sustainable arrangements to cope with rising demographic pressures - both older people and people with disabilities. Cross-party talks are on-going over this, but they are, according to the FT, making little progress. Also, the move to delay any bill means the decisions on funding it will fall into the next spending review in autumn 2013. If the FT's report is proved correct, it means the talk about social care reform will continue for at least another year - as will discussions over the current creaking social care system, with local authorities, providers and budget holders continuing to try to pull off the trick of doing more with less. With more cuts to come in the next couple of years, it is a trick that will get increasingly hard. While the system may not be at 'breaking point' as some have claimed - the professionals involved will ensure that it doesn't collapse despite the myriad problems it faces - action is needed urgently, not more talk. To repeat what I - and many others more knowledgeable and influential than me - have said for years, the longer that the current system continues, with the ever-increasing funding gap, the more difficult reform becomes. If only the Government would realise this.