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From: The Socialist issue 1049, 3 July 2019: Same old millionaire Tories - Fight to kick them out

Search site for keywords: Health - Cuts - Socialist - Government - Welfare - Welfare state - Public services

Even social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

Social care for the elderly is under threat, photo Joe D Miles for CQC (Creative Commons)

Social care for the elderly is under threat, photo Joe D Miles for CQC (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Eric Segal, East Kent Socialist Party

Jeremy Hunt, in a masterful understatement, said: "I think, having been responsible for health and social care, that some of the cuts in social care did go too far."

Social care is the day-to-day support given to people who need extra help because of old age, disability or other health conditions.

Since the financial crash there have been 7.7 billion cuts to adult social-care budgets. And a further 700 million of cuts are planned this year.

What does this mean in practice? Social care for people with HIV in Kent was cut in 2014 leaving victims of this devastating disease without any social support.

Failing people

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Care has commented on the government's record in social care: "The system is not only failing financially, it is failing people." Homecare closures have increased by 113% and impacted 7,019 people in 2018-19.

Two thirds of adult-social-services directors think the cuts can't be met this year nor do they think they can continue to meet statutory duties. Since 2010, the grants councils in England receive from central government have been cut by half, and their overall spending power by just under a third.

Spending on adult social care had already fallen by 10% by 2013. As a result, councils have been spending a growing proportion of their budgets on social care.

Local authorities spent 34% of their budget for public services on adult social care in 2009-10. By 2017-18, this was 41%.

According to the Times newspaper, local authorities control budgets totaling 114 billion, and last year were sitting on 21 billion of non-ring fenced reserves.

Councils have the power to fight back against cuts.

History shows us that socialist-led Labour councils, like Liverpool in the 1980s, together with the trade unions have the power to stop cuts through mass campaigns against austerity.

Councils should refuse to make cuts. Instead they should use reserves and borrowing powers to give them time to build a mass campaign to win the stolen money back.

Together with a Corbyn-led Labour government armed with socialist policies to begin the process of rebuilding our welfare state and the services we need.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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