The Mirror

Also known as the gutter press, the papers present the viewpoints of various segments of society, and give MPs an opportunity to write directly to them.
Post Reply
User avatar
(Name Drop Goes Here)
(Name Drop Goes Here)
Posts: 299
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:19 am
XP: 14
Trait(s): None
Discord username: Blakesley

The Mirror

Post by Blakesley »

User avatar
Ashton Edwards
Labour MP
Labour MP
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:12 am
Constituency: Kensington
XP: 0
Trait(s): None
Discord username: aboltik

Re: The Mirror

Post by Ashton Edwards »

Tory Government Plays on Twitter While Millions are Denied Basic Care
Ashton Edwards, Shadow Public Services and Social Affairs Secretary

The Government is out of excuses for why they are refusing to tackle the national crisis on social care. Since the beginning of this year, when Labour announced its plan to address this crisis through comprehensive reforms and a National Care Service that would fully fund social care programmes at the local level, the Tories have change Prime Ministers (again), have had cabinet reshuffles that led to a public fracas and accusations of sexism, and have now engaged with a war on the press by trying to mislead them.

And that’s it. Since the beginning of this year.

After originally pledging a new plan “before the end of 2019,” we’re now at risk, with yet another Public Services Secretary, of seeing this issue kicked into the long grass again. Kicking social care into the long grass is a shameful dereliction of duty by any government because people are suffering here and now, struggling to find and pay the costs of personal support. People are having to sell their homes to pay for care for themselves or their families, while the Tories play on Twitter.

Around 1.5 million over-65s are going without assistance that they need to get by in daily life. These are parents, grandparents, siblings who are forced to work through pain- if they can even work at all- to do basic tasks such as cleaning, laundry, or cooking.

And it’s not as though care assistance is just waiting for them. Every HOUR, 80 over-65s that request social care assistance are denied in this country. So while the Deputy Prime Minister was kicking off a long “goad the press” session on Scotland where he announced an expansion of HS2 and a tunnel to Northern Ireland, nearly 100 over-65s in England were seeing their chance for help just evaporate away thanks to harsh means tests or unfunded services.

The statistics on the importance of this issue go on and on regarding the private funds spent annually on social care- funds that come from selling off homes and every asset some people have. Regarding the unnecessary deaths that come from a lack of basic care options. Regarding the polls and surveys where people clearly identify that action on social care is one of- if not the- most important issue that this Government currently faces.

Since the beginning of the year- a year where the Tories have already missed their goal on a plan on social care- there’s been no action on social care, but a lot of action on Twitter.

Labour’s proposal is comprehensive and will work to address every major issue that this country faces in its social care crisis. It’s not something that will be fixed overnight given a decade of Tory neglect, but it will get us to where we need to be.

Our plan starts with, on day 1, funding for local authorities to reverse each and every Tory cut to social care- returning £8 billion to local councils that had been taken away from social care budgets.

And we’ll provide assistance to those 1.5 million over-65s that need assistance with daily life activities through free at-home personal care funding. This will provide direct financial support for those basic tasks that need to be done at home: cleaning, cooking, laundry, getting dressed, etc. This same programme will also help to subsidise care-home costs for these same activities, reducing the out-of-pocket costs for social care. This assistance will not be tied to a means test; if you or a family member needs the assistance, then you can get it quickly and easily.

For other care services, we’ll work to make care more available and affordable. We’ll raise the means test threshold for getting public aid. Right now, if anyone owns £23,250 or more in assets- including the value of a home- they are on their own for social care that would help those with dementia and other ailments.

Our plan starts with immediately raising that threshold to £125,000, so anyone with assets less than that will be able to get public assistance to pay for the care they need.

Immediately too, we’ll put a cap on lifetime out-of-pocket expenses at £25,000. The moment anyone spends that amount, and even if you already have, then our plan will ensure that public funding is available to pay for care.

Every year, some 40,000 families have to make the choice to sell their homes to pay for social care. So in that same HOUR where the Deputy Prime Minister chose to goad the press on Scotland, 5 families had to make the choice to sell off a treasured home just to pay the costs to take care of themselves or a loved one.

Our cap on costs will be retroactive; anyone who has already been forced to sell their homes just to cover a year or two of care home costs will be immediately eligible for full public assistance to pay for social care.

Over the course of the next few years, our plan would continue to boost support for those that need care. Personal care coverage will be made available to all adults. The lifetime cap on out-of-pocket expenses will eventually fall to £0. We’ll push for standards of care that ensures everyone has access to a high quality of care, and assist local authorities in expanding the services they can provide to those in need.

And over the course of a single Parliament term, our plan will ensure that social care costs are fully paid for out of a budget that is sustainable and that will meet the needs of those who are aging and those who need care due to disabilities. We’ll also expand local authorities' abilities to provide care themselves by giving authorities money to start their own care homes or to purchase those that already exist.

I’m not as good as some Tories think they are when it comes to making memes or coming up with burns on Twitter and in the press.

But what I do want to be good at is listening to those that have been raising alarms over our social care system for years. What I want to do is to put us in a position to answer some of the tough questions on how care should be delivered, how care is coordinated with the NHS to save lives, how we train up and how we reward those who are caregivers. Those are questions that Labour is ready to answer.

It might not look as good as standing in front of Dover House. And it might take a little longer than an hour goading session that results in just a couple of retweets. But this is the work that families throughout this country deserve, the work to erase a decade’s backslide into service cuts and leaving those in the most need with no support.

There’s no excuse for this Government. It’s time to take an effective and comprehensive plan and put it into action.
Ashton Edwards MP
MP for Kensington (2017-) | Labour
Shadow Foreign Secretary (2020-)
Shadow Health and Social Affairs Secretary (2020-)
Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary (2019-)

Shadow Health, Education and Social Care Secretary (2019-2020)
Post Reply