In response to the Queens Speech the Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health, Cllr Adele Williams, has written an article criticising the absence of social care and outlining her vision for how social care should be in the UK.
Ahead of the Queens Speech there was some expectation that the Government would announce some plan for social care given said on entering Downing Street in 2019 that “we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all”.
There has also been a promise of a Parliamentary White Paper since 2017 which still has yet to be published.
Responding to the absence of it in the Queens Speech, Cllr Williams said “People in Nottingham and the rest of the country desperately needs a social care system that is adequately funded over the long term and free at the point of use. Everyone contributes, everyone’s covered – just like our NHS.”
“The pandemic has shown how important social care is for people and though social care workers do an amazing job, the growing demand alongside chronic underfunding is pushing the sector further into crisis.”
Referring on the Government’s Adult Social Care Precept, Cllr Williams said it was hitting local taxpayers hard, “This precept represents a significant sum to local households, but makes a negligible impact on the pressures to the Council’s budget in this area. An inadequate sticking plaster that costs Nottingham tax payers dearly – hitting household incomes at a time of economic crisis.”
In March, Cllr Williams wrote to the Government along with local Labour MPs highlighting the need for a fair and adequate funding system for social care, quoting the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) who said that £1,3 billion is needed to cover demographic and inflationary pressures in 2021, Cllr Williams has yet to receive a reply.
Cllr Williams finished by saying “The absence of any plans yesterday confirms the Government lacks a vision for this big challenge in the UK. In Wales, the Labour government are rising to the challenges with commitments to paying care workers a real living wage and considering a “National Care Service”.
“We urge the government to listen to the nation. Just as we have raised our voices when needed to defend our NHS, when we clapped for carers, we meant it. They would do well to listen – and act.”