The many local organisations and constituents who have come to talk to me about social care worries will be disappointed to hear that David Cameron and his Government are kicking this important issue into the long grass.
Our adult social care system is in crisis and urgently needs reform. David Cameron had previously committed to introducing legislation “to establish a sustainable legal and financial framework for adult social care”. But in the Queen’s Speech, the Prime Minister only committed to publishing draft legislation on reform of social care law, with no assurances that he would legislate on this issue during this Parliament, and no reference whatsoever to reforming how social care is funded, which is the key challenge for the future.
Organisations like Saga and Age UK are right to be disappointed by what has been announced because they know how urgent the care crisis is.
Over £1 billion has been cut from local council budgets for adult social care since the Tory-led Government came to power and the system has now reached breaking point.
Labour believes this issue is too urgent to kick into the long grass. We initiated cross-party talks on social care funding and we are pushing for urgent progress in them. If the Government is serious about solving this crisis, they needs to grasp the nettle and reform how care is funded as well as provided in future to give older and disabled people the care system they deserve. What’s currently on the table is simply not good enough.