Government ducking social care issue, say unions

sajid-javidUnions have accused the government of not investing enough in social care.

Their comments come after yesterday’s announcement from Communities Secretary Sajid Javid that local authorities can bring forward council tax rises to cover costs over the next two years, on top of a national additional investment of £240m.

But unions say the measures are nowhere near enough.

GMB national secretary Rehana Azam said: “This ill-thought out plan is yet another Tory example of one rule for the rich, another for everybody else. GMB has been warning the government for years council tax is no way to plug the vast social care funding black hole – but they wouldn’t listen.

“Our members are already under paid – many don’t even get the minimum wage. Morale is at an all-time low and this half-baked response from government will apply more crushing pressure to their already difficult roles.

“Now we will all pay the price for this social care post code lottery – it’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Government cuts to council budgets helped cause the crisis in social care. Yet rather than own up and take responsibility, ministers are simply passing the buck to local councils.

“Social care needs a substantial injection of new cash – targeted at poorer areas of the country – and measures to ensure dignity is at the heart of the system for care users and workers.

“Raising council tax bills allows authorities in affluent areas to generate more cash than poorer ones – where the need is greatest. Similarly ordinary families, struggling to make ends meet, can ill afford a hike in their council tax bills.

“The government should be using the growing surplus of centrally-collected business rates to ease the pressure on councils, not encouraging them to shift the care burden onto hard pressed local taxpayers and create an unfair postcode lottery of care.”

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