Social Care Costs

The BBC has the story on its web site

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45750384

What struck me about the BBC piece is that the writer of it uses almost the same words as I did when they describe the timescale for governments not to address this most vital of issues. My blog posting on the subject was on 29th September and here’s a link to it:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2018/09/29/sefton-council-its-social-care-budgetary-crisis-as-with-every-other-council-delivering-social-care-responsibilities/

This is what I said – This is a crisis that needed to be faced up to by politicians in government 20 or more years ago, the fact that it still has not been is testament to our broken political system which only thinks very short term indeed.

This is what Nick Triggle has said on the BBC web site on 8th October – In truth, it is an issue that governments have ducked for more than 20 years – Tony Blair was talking about reform as he came to power in 1997.

That we have to fund social care costs much better is a given and those costs have to come, in the main, from general taxation don’t they? Even in our broken political system surely the political parties can come together to agree a way forward rather than them each kicking the can further down the road whilst blaming the other political parties for doing the kicking.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Sefton Council – Its Social Care budgetary crisis (as with every other council delivering social care responsibilities)

Sefton Council Logo

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/social-care-in-crisis-sefton-15213903

I like Margaret Carney, she became Chief Executive during my time as Leader of Sefton Council. She is a calm and clear thinking council officer in my view so if she says there’s a crisis then you can take it that there is. Of course she is also saying what many other Chief Executives of Councils are saying across the Country and there’s much evidence to back up their concerns.

But as I’ve said before (in previous blog postings on this subject) the crisis in social care has been building for many a year. It would be a mistake to think it’s just another victim of austerity. Yes austerity has made things worse but well before the financial crash social care was hoovering up huge amounts of Sefton Council’s revenue budget often at the expense of other council services. Every yearly budget setting round there would be a need to put greater and greater sums into elderly and children’s social care to keep them afloat – rising demands and every spiraling costs. But as I say Sefton Borough is far from being unique in having to deal with this.

This is a crisis that needed to be faced up to by politicians in government 20 or more years ago, the fact that it still has not been is testament to our broken political system which only thinks very short term indeed.

Whilst we spend Billions of Pounds trying to exit the EU there are real life problems like this that keep getting swept under so many politicians carpets. Our priorities as a Country are utterly bizarre. The poor the sick and vulnerable are paying for the stupidity of our leaders with underfunded social care amongst other vital services, such as the NHS, from which we are diverting funds to fight fantasy projects like Brexit.

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Has Brexit become more important than caring for the elderly?

Sadly it seems so, whilst the building and ever deepening crisis in our social care system gets worse every day. The Guardian has an opinion piece on its web site by Polly Toynbee on this matter, please have a read of it via the link below:-

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/17/brexit-crisis-social-care-workers-night-shift-pay-claim-quitting

To true Brexiters such as the majority of the Tory Party and the Labour Leadership it’s probably the case that they put leaving the EU before just about everything; it’s their cult-like religious goal and nothing can be allowed to get in the way. Of course in reality, not something Brexiter MP’s are often well acquainted with I guess, the big issues that Parliament need to concentrate on are still there festering away. And probably social care is at the top of the list of ignored crisis issues along with the related problems of our struggling NHS.

Yes I know, I’m a Remainer so I really don’t in any way understand why adult social care and the NHS crisis is less important than leaving the EU but I guess this is very clear to Brexiters?…

My thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Social Care for the elderly – A disaster that is worsening every day

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/social-care-crisis-latest-governmet-delays-slow-dragging-feet-labour-damian-green-a8058776.html

The Independent has the story on its web site – see link above

Norman Lamb MP

Quote from the article:-

Liberal Democrat former care minister Norman Lamb said: “This Government is completely failing to address the social care crisis which has left over a million vulnerable older people without the support they need.

“It is outrageous that they are now kicking the can further down the road, leaving the social care sector in a state of uncertainty.”

This vital issue affects every section of society as we will all potentially need social care when we are elderly. That means this is an obvious cross-party issue that should be addressed by the coming together of political foes for the benefit of the common good; something Norman Lamb has tried to bring about previously. Sadly, our ridiculously partisan political system leads to politicians opposing each other even when they agree but every day that this social care crisis is kicked down the road more of the elderly in our families will suffer from inadequate care.

Yet we still like to call ourselves civilised……..

With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

A Brexit Nation – Just what have we become?

As our NHS crumbles before our very eyes, as social care for the old and the vulnerable crumbles with it, as our world gets dangerously more warm by the day, the national debate (as presented to us by the press) often seems to be about far, far less pressing issues.

The colour of our next passport, whether we should recommission the Royal Yacht Britannia, the troubles of TV’s Bake Off and how we can keep out anyone from the UK particularly if they have anything but white skin and can’t speak the Queen’s English.

Without doubt the UK is taking leave of it senses and its priorities seem utterly bizarre.

The Tories will see off the NHS (which depends heavily on doctors and nurses from across the world simply to function) soon just by starving it of the funds and staff it so desperately needs. They will push the costs of health care by default (and social care for the elderly and vulnerable in particular) onto families. This is happening now, it will be worse tomorrow and next week, etc. etc. Is this not a pressing crisis?

Our world is getting dangerously warm whilst we fiddle around the edges not really getting to grips with what needs to be done to save our plant for future generations. Is this not a major crisis?

It really is about time we sobered up. Our all but racist society is shameful, our sitting back and watching as millions of refugees die is a national disgrace and the unwillingness to fund health and social care properly is utterly bizarre because we are quite literally shooting ourselves in the foot and we know it!

When was the last time we had a Prime Minister we could have any collective confidence in? There was a spectacularly false dawn in this regard when Tony Blair got elected because even those of us who did not vote for him thought he was about to bring about the kind of serious change the UK needed. He had his moments of course but then involved us in illegal wars that have brought terrorism to the streets of the UK. His appalling legacy far out-ways the good things he did.

But can you think of another PM of recent times that folks had any kind of collective confidence in? Wilson possibly in his early years?

Without doubt the UK is facing many a major crisis at present:-

Funding the NHS
Paying for Social Care
An over heated and dysfunctional housing market
Deeply worrying energy supply problems
Global warming
An inability to defend the Country
Racial intolerance
An aging population

And the colour of our next passport and whether the Royal Yacht Britannia is recommissioned etc. are supposedly big issues to us? How low will this once proud, caring and open-minded Country have to go before we take notice of the real troubles that are all around us?

Public debt rising by £4,000 a second

Campaigners claim that public debt is rising by almost £4,000 a second, while £120bn of taxpayers’ money is being wasted every year. Launching its War on Waste roadshow, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) said “every tick of the clock” was equivalent to putting £3,965 on the nation’s credit card. From tomorrow until Sunday, July 13, the TPA’s staff will join local activists to call on public sector officials to strip out waste from pay, pensions and inefficient spending as they tour across England and Wales. The TPA will claim that local authorities have wasted money by imposing high council tax and diverting resources away from frontline services through pet projects. Among the stops on the roadshow will be the constituency offices of leaders of the three main parties, and the Grey’s Monument in Newcastle, Exchange Square in Manchester and Birmingham Town Hall. During the tour the campaigners will highlight examples of waste, such as the £4,450 spent by Nottingham City Council on an office Christmas tree, or an art gallery in West Bromwich that cost £72m but had to be closed because of a lack of visitors.

The Times yesterday, Page: 23

I have picked up on this not necessarily for the detail of the Times article but because of the headline. I am one of those politicians who is convinced that if public spending is not brought under tighter control it will be the ruin of the lot of us. Whilst at face value there is now a broad consensus to restrain what Government and other public bodies spend, as we get nearer to the General election I am sure the political parties will start to trumpet areas where they want to spend more in an attempt to garner votes. This could be the start of the road to ruin (again) except of course if it is more money for the likes of the NHS and social care which I think we all want to see.

Elections can be dangerous for the economy because of politicians trying to outbid each other. Even the Scottish Independence vote later this year is ramping up spending pledges from the SNP in particular but with others tagging along too. Of course, some parties make spending pledges and then decide having made them they can’t afford to be implemented. The economy may well then be saved from further spending but the pledge that folks voted on is seen to have been misleading. Tuition fees comes to mind as probably the the most obvious one of recent times and it hangs around poor old Nick Clegg’s neck like a millstone.

In my book if you make a pledge you carry it out. Yes, other things may have to go as a consequence but a pledge is a pledge. I do hope the political classes have learned from this as there will be other examples.

But the bottom line (an apt phrase in this context) is the issue here. Economies have to balance their books; we can’t go back to the New Labour days of spending money like water whilst not raising enough in taxes to balance those books. It did ruin us and it will ruin us again if we don’t wake up and smell the coffee. In politics lessons are often not always learned and mistakes often repeat themselves!

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.