You need to be rich these days to grow old with dignity in Britain. Six years of local authority budget cuts by the conservative government has placed the burden for caring for our elderly and infirm on their relatives and the over-stretched voluntary sector. Since the Tories came to power, local authorities have responded to these central cuts by allocating 9% less on social care, as demand has grown.
As the government abandons our most in need, a silent alarm is screaming in households across the country.  Hundreds of thousands of Britons who struggle to eat, wash and go to the toilet are left to make do. A daily trial, a daily injustice. Access to care now depends increasingly on what people can afford rather than on what they need because the poor are more reliant on the state.
A report published by the King’s Fund this week puts the social care funding gap by 2019/20 at £2.8 billion as public spending on it falls below to 1 per cent of GDP. It predicts that that many of thousands of mostly small and medium sized businesses that make up most of the care sector will fail due to the reduction in government grants to the local authorities which pay them. “The possibility of large-scale provider failures is no longer of question of ‘if ’ but ‘when’ and such a failure would jeopardise continuity of the care on which older people depend,” says the King’s Fund.
The social care funding crisis has had the knock-on effect of precipitating another crisis within the NHS because elderly people with nowhere to go are filling A&E departments and hospital wards across the country. The government is depriving the health and social care systems of the money they need to function, leaving it up the blood, sweat and tears of staff to keep our once great NHS together. There is nothing accidental about this crisis. The government is deliberately precipitating shocks in the system so it can bring about its own solutions, which invariably involve more privatization, deregulation and cuts. If the government wants to derogate from its duty to provide care for a growing number of older people in Britain, it must come clean and say so.The alarm cannot ring silent forever.
Labour believes it is the state’s role to provide basic social care for old people with no money. We will be honest with the public about the unavoidable growth in demand on health and social care services from an aging population, and we will provide the finance required to meet these needs.

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3 Comments

  1. Yes Diane Abbott is right you do need to be rich to grow old with dignity in
    Britain.
    This applies also to all the elderly carers, whom get no recognition of
    what a great job they do for being loyal to those they care for.

    However, government and local authorities could do so much more in helping to encourage family members/unpaid carers, many of pensionable age whom are no longer able to qualify for ‘carers allowance’ and still are carers.
    The government and local authorities should do more then just talk of
    what a good job these people do, while such carers are struggling to keep warm in winter and try to afford to eat properly, as if they can care for persons in need of such consideration and not be paid then if they stopped doing such and got a paid job doing such, their difficulties would be over but
    the cost to the NHS /government and local authorities would go out the window.
    So why don’t the government continue to pay the carers allowance to
    those collecting their pension that are still carers, as it should not be
    lost as many pensioners are able to collect a small wage and still receive
    their pension if within a certain earning limit.
    Also carers that are employed / salaried and regulated/inspected by local authorities are compensated for their role by not having to pay council rates however, unpaid voluntary family carers that are pensioners are
    not granted that status in full and have to pay their council rates.
    For example, if I was caring for a family member in their home, I would
    be exempted from my council rates whilst away from home but as my son
    is mentally handicapped (learning difficulty) and unable to care for himself
    away from home and so lives with us, we cannot benefit from that system and yet have higher costs to us all around for example on wear and tear on soft furnishings, fuel costs higher, cleaning duties heavier besides care givers whom care 24/7 and never a weekend away or a holiday.

  2. Alan Rogers says:

    Now is the time to join the Labour Party we know that Jeremy C will put this right if we can get him elected. Time for the Blairites to decide if they want to build a better Britain for all.

    1. F.M says:

      Hear hear !!

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