York Lib Dem councillors have criticised the lack of any formal plan to reform social care, despite Prime Minister’s pledge to do so in his first speech in the office. Failure to include details of long-awaited reforms to fund adult social care in the Queen’s speech is a bitter blow to the millions of people who draw on and work in these vital services as well as local councils who will have to continue to patch up Government failures.
For the Government to finally make good on its promise to ‘fix social care’, they need to urgently allocate the necessary investment to match the level of ambition we need to have for the future of care and support, beyond just protecting people from having to sell their home to pay for care, as important as that is.
Liberal Democrats have long called for the Government to deliver on their promises and move from a model of wellbeing based on care homes and hospitalisation, to a broader offer that enables people to live their own lives independently in their own homes and communities, in appropriate accommodation and with the right level of support.
Earlier this year, in the absence of sufficient Government funding, the administration set out a plan to deliver savings and efficiencies, in order to ensure that crucial council services can be maintained, increasing total spending by £2.6 million on adult social care and support for children and young people.
Councillor Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, commented:
“Instead of delivering the long-awaited proposals to fix the social care crisis, Government has once again kicked the can down the road, whilst distracting people with empty slogans and illiberal crackdown on democratic rights.
“It is time to move forward from the place of rhetoric to action – specific action that will support the sector to deliver sustainability and growth, particularly after such a challenging year.
“We must confine to history the approach of quick fix solutions in the form of additional one-off grants and the adult social care precept to fund social care. This Government continues to only offer sticking plaster solutions which are unsustainable and depend on council tax whilst cutting local government funding, which only deepens the crisis.”