Last week, Labour’s Shadow Social Care Minister Liz Kendall used a speech to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to outline that any Labour Government would place social care at the heart of the UK’s recovery.
Labour would commit to a ten-year plan of investment and reform to ensure that social care is adequately funded, structured, and ready to support the British population.
Over a decade of Conservative rule has weakened the foundations of the British economy and wider society, and social care has taken a significant hit. With an ageing population and a disconnected social care system, a perfect storm appears to be forming.
We have had £8bn cut from local authority social care budgets since 2010, despite a marked rise in demand across the country.
What’s more, our current welfare state is designed for 1940, not 2040, which is where we should be looking towards. We must consider what the United Kingdom will look like then and how we need to support our fellow citizens, something ever so prescient in light of coronavirus and the repeated lockdowns.
The Prime Minister stood on the steps of Downing Street after being elected as Conservative Party leader in July 2019 and said he will deliver a plan for social care: “we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all.”
Two years on, there is still no plan to be seen – yet another broken Tory promise, and the crisis is becoming more severe by the day.
In Bolton, we have been acutely impacted by the pandemic. We have been under restrictions, bar a few weeks in Summer 2020, for over a year now, and our public services are struggling with the strain.
It is absolutely vital that here in Bolton and throughout the UK that as we emerge from this crisis, we place social care at the centre of our concerns and ensure that we support those who need it most.