Government must “Fix social care” before it can talk of tax raise

Posted on: 28th January 2022


Before the Government hits struggling workers a £12bn tax bill, they first need to demonstrate they’ve “fixed social care”. At the very time the Government plans its National Insurance tax hike Cornwall’s Conservative Council has declared the social care is more unfixed than it’s ever been!

At the last election the Conservatives promised that above all they would “fix social care”. But so far they’ve achieved the opposite. Worse still, they’ve also announced they intend to slash the care provided to the sickest and most vulnerable. I’m calling on them to go and explain that to the patients and their families themselves, and not expect the heroes working on the frontline of our overstretched care services to do it for them.

Most of them are so insulated by their wealth they have little understanding how detrimental their ill-thought through proposals would have on thousands of vulnerable people who need the care they get.

They say they want to discharge 180 hospital patients and to “keep people away from hospital”. They say they’ll do this by slashing in half the care currently provided for those who need it most! But this runs the risk of achieving the opposite; driving many more patients towards our already struggling hospitals, quite apart from adding to the human tragedy of leaving hundreds of people who need help in avoidable distress.

The Conservatives created this problem. They closed community hospitals, underfunded social care, refused to support care workers with inadequate pay and conditions, refused to support mandatory safe staffing, ignored those who urged them to take workforce planning seriously, pumped taxpayers’ money into second homes rather than keyworker housing and ignored all warnings of the serious detriment of staff exodus following Brexit.

The local Conservatives keep telling us that because they have total control here – ie run the Country, hold all MP seats and run the Council – they will make sure Cornwall gets the very best deal. Well, now’s a perfect opportunity for them to prove it.

The situation won’t get any easier. The Government’s announcement on the lifting of Covid restrictions (made in another desperate attempt to distract attention from the PM’s difficulties) comes before the latest wave is properly under control. And it contradicts the sensible advice from Cornwall’s Public Health Team.

How would Conservative Councillors feel if a bed bound member of their family had been told their four care visits a day was being cut to just two, against clinical advice?