Guest Post by Elaine Dyson
The social care system in the UK is in crisis. Underfunded, undervalued and considered a low priority by this Conservative government. Yet it is the very life line, upon which many people rely to survive and it enables them to live with some quality of life.
The social care system exists to support people at vulnerable times in their lives, children in foster care, the homeless, care for the elderly, people with learning difficulties, or those with disabilities or serious illness unable to carry out basic tasks unaided. Much of the work carried out by carers and staff in this sector is ignored, out of sight and without recognition.
The situation has been exacerbated by the drastic cuts to NHS funding, as these two vital services work hand in hand. NHS hospital beds are often occupied by patients ready to be discharged, yet still needing care, sometimes before they can return to their normal daily routines. Others waiting to be discharged needing more permanent support,.. but increasingly there is no-where for them to go.
Today, it has been discussed in the press that council tax bills, in the next financial year, may rise to help councils pay for social care in those areas. If you are not alarmed by this, I suggest you should be. Not only will this put a burden on households already struggling to manage, with suggested rises around 4%, but it is another example of this Conservative government squeezing the public in the form of more taxation.
Councils throughout the country have seen their budgets savagely cut in recent years (Labour councils have seen greater cuts, than Conservative councils) since the Conservatives came into power. As a result, many have had to make difficult decisions, knowing that with each of those cuts the public are going to suffer. Cuts, simply cost lives.
They rob the young of a brighter future and condemn the elderly to loneliness, hunger and feelings of hopelessness in their final years, despite the majority having contributed to the system for most of their lives.
This tactic is both callous and cowardly. The government, dumping their mismanagement of the economy on local councils, who will no doubt get the brunt of complaints and resentment from their community due to the council tax hikes.
On a purely fiscal level, this raises the question why are the public being asked to foot the bill again, when the government constantly reduces corporation tax and refuses to raise taxes for high earners? We are seen as “stock”, to supplement the lifestyles of the wealthy.
Why else would there be millions of pounds to spend on the renovation of stately homes, but not care homes or new homes? Why else would there be money to spend on subsidising corporations, worth multi-millions of pounds, instead of helping people survive?
Please.. get angry! Get angry at a government who continues to lie and mismanage the economy and then passes the buck onto everyone else, hoping we are all too blinkered to realise where the blame really lies. The time has come, like never before, to stand up and be counted. If not, you may very well be counted in the number of people who lost their right to the NHS, a home, a carer or to help when you needed it most.
Please Note: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.