This is a very good leader in the Guardian on the need for change in social care and some of the issues that need to be addressed.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/25/the-guardian-view-on-the-social-care-crisis-fix-a-broken-system

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4 Comments

  1. Brian Cox says:

    This is editorial only covers the costs of residential care and the needs related to older people. As usual it neglects the importance of community services and the whole range of services and supports to others with support needs.
    So long as we only talk about social care in this way wie will only produce partial and inadequate responses.
    Surely in the midst of a C19 and care crisis we should be starting from the question “what do we want from care” rather than how much it costs.

    Brian

  2. Colin Slasberg says:

    This is a good summary of the funding side of the need for reform. However it does not address the other side at all – the issue of what is actually being funded. With social care a visionless bureaucracy that serves only to dispense whatever resources the democratic system chooses to provide, how can the public and political leaders engage when they are asked to pay more when either they don’t know what they are buying or are just left uninspired? And what confidence can they have that more funding will do the trick when under the current system, there is a huge disparity in spend per service user, but with the highest spending not achieving any more in terms of outcomes than the lowest?

    There is little point in addressing the funding issues without at the same time or before addressing the issue of vision and purpose.

  3. Alison Cotterill says:

    Other than Tory ideology, the main barrier to fixing social care has been an unwillingness to face up to the financial cost of doing it properly. The article introduces the possibilities of funding it through “levies on older workers…[or] a wealth duty might also be another way of meeting the cost of a national benefit”. This yet again reinforces the neoliberal myth that in order to spend the government needs to find the money from somewhere else. It doesn’t. Taxes play several vital roles in the economy. From a macroeconomic point of view those roles are principally to give the currency its value and to create the fiscal space into which the government can spend without creating inflation. A sovereign currency-issuing government like ours always ‘has’ the money to pay for the things it decides to buy – it instructs the Bank of England to issue the required amount by typing the numbers into the receiving bank accounts.The true limits of what the government can purchase are about the availability of the real resources in the economy to achieve its ends. In the case of social care the main resource needed is a suitably skilled workforce. There is work that needs to be done and there is an abundance underemployed and unemployed people availble in the economy who could carry out the work needed. If the government chooses to create a comprehensive social care system, to meet the needs in communities and made up of a properly qualified workforce with decent pay, terms and conditions it can do so. The perennial question of “how are you going to pay for it” is an irrelevance in terms of how the monetary system actually works. The illusion that taxes pay for spending is constantly reinforced by expressions like “taxpayers money”, “the government needs to tighten its belt”, etc. Unfortunately the left itself continues to prop up the interests of neoliberal dogma by using the same misnomers and by presenting sources of new tax that could cover the costs of new spending. This is a subject the SHA really needs to look at – and consider again its principle of standing for “universal healthcare… funded by taxation”.

    1. John Carlisle says:

      Excellent advice from Alison on the answer to “how will you pay for it”. It also underlines the grave importance of socialists taking the time to really grasp economics as the apply in public services. This is not happening and as a result the may open goals that merely needed an economic argument to score have been missed again and again.
      It is time to take this seriously.
      I note to date that there have been no replies……….That says it all.

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