York Central MP Rachael Maskell attended the Prime Minister’s statement today on Social Care Reform. While announcing a regressive funding plan for social care, he failed to set out a plan for the future of social care. Right now, 1.5 million people are unable to access the social care they need, while many are bled dry as they sell everything they have to pay for their care.
After 11 years of failed promises on social care, the Government have now brought forward proposals to introduce a new Health and Social Care levy to pay for a not-yet-planned care system. The levy will be a tax rise of 1.25% on earned income – hitting low-paid workers the hardest. The costs will also be shared with a 1.25% increase in dividends rates and a charge to businesses. In total, £36bn will be raised for both Health and Social Care.
With the NHS backlog now exceeding 5.5 million people waiting for appointments, tests and procedures and facing a staffing crisis, it is clear the NHS will demand a significant share of these funds, leaving social care still in need of investment and care staff to receive a pay rise.
The MP for York Central raised her concerns with the Prime Minister that the broken Private Care Market will continue to “fleece the frail and suppress the wages of the workers” unless there was real transition to a public National Care Service. She is concerned that new public money will go straight into profit-making organisations, not reinvested in the State.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“Frail and disabled people in need of social care can expect little hope in the Prime Minister’s proposals, which will not only hit them hard at a time when money is tight, but will also expect people to take out insurance to subsidise their care. While those with less than £20,000-worth of assets will not have to make a contribution, the cap will be set at £100,000. In 2011, Andrew Dilnot advised that this should be set at £35,000. In a decade under this Government we have gone backwards, and are no further forward at addressing the crisis.
“I asked the Prime Minister about reforming the system, or else this additional revenue will simply prop up profit-making private care companies, benefitting their bank balances – and not the public. The Prime Minister dismissed my call for a publicly funded National Care Service, which I believe should be free at the point of need. Now is the time for us to think about providing high-quality care to each and everyone as they have need.
“Most evident of all, was that the Government had no further plans. There was no mention of unpaid carers, no mention of care staff funding, and no mention of how people will be supported in their community. Significant reform is needed, but people will need a different Government for that.”