Government social care plans: ‘an empty promise’

By on 11/07/2012 in Cllr Bedser, News
Cllr Steve Bedser

Cllr Steve Bedser

The Government's Social Care White Paper and draft bill has been labelled 'an empty promise' by Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser.

A year after the publication of the Dilnot Report, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley this afternoon set out the White Paper social care, a draft care and support bill and a progress report on social care funding reform.

Cllr Bedser welcomed elements of the Government announcement, particularly increased transparency from care providers and the emphasis placed on the control and entitlement that people will have in care.

But he said: “Good legislation, scheduled to be implemented in 2015 is an empty promise without the resources that are needed to repair Britain's broken care system.

“Today's funding paper delays the decision on the resources needed in the care system and, in reviewing the work of the Dilnot Commission, the Government has added further delay and uncertainty to tackling the question of how care can be paid for.

“So if you own your own home, despite hollow promises, you are still at risk today of your care costs taking all of your savings and there is no timescale for when Government will stop these catastrophic costs faced by one in every ten people.

“Not only does Birmingham face enormous risks from the Government's failure to tackle the funding of social care, we have the largest cuts to spending. We are already doing much innovative practice in our struggle not only to survive but to make an offer to our citizens that works despite the chaos of national government.”

Reiterating the Labour-led Council's commitment to establishing a peace of mind bond, Cllr Bedser added: “We face an uncertain future, but that is nothing to the pressures on carers and people with high levels of care need. Whilst we will be critical of the failings of this Government, we will not allow that criticism to limit the creativity and imagination that we will continue to show in order to develop adult social care as best we can to meet the needs of Birmingham.

“Resolving how we as a country address the growing needs and costs for care is a hard, difficult issue. Councils have shown some of the answers but need to work within a system that meets the needs of the 21st century. Today's announcements by Government are a step forward, but not enough.”

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

Notes to Editors

Peace of Mind Bond
The Labour-led council is developing an offer for older people in the city, consistent with the principles set out by the Dilnot Commission. The offer of a 'Peace of Mind' bond taken out and financed at retirement would provide a system of security unparalleled anywhere else in the country.

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