This government's Austerity policies have led to local authority spending cuts of 15% in real terms since 2010, with social care suffering cuts of 26% or £3.5 billion. This is at a time when the need for social care services has only grown. The most vulnerable in our society – children, the elderly, disabled people, those with learning disabilities – have borne the brunt of a financial crisis not of their making. In particular, we have an ageing population with complex and multiple health needs. 70% of hopsital beds are occupied by people over 65
A third of people who use social care are disabled people of working age. A report by a group of disability charities found that, when asked about the social care services they received, 40% said they don't meet basic needs like washing, dressing or getting out of the house; 47% said they don't enable them to take part in community life like seeing friends or volunteering; 62% said they had spent their own money on help to eat, dress, wash or get out of the house.
Cuts to social care budgets have also had a very serious impact on child protection. Only the most serious child protection cases now meet the threshold for social services intervention, and there are fewer resources for preventive and family support work, or to support children in need.
- We will reverse the cuts to local authority budgets and increase funding for social care to a level that fully meets the needs of vulnerable, elderly and disabled people.
- We will reverse the cuts to social services budgets for children and families.