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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 September 2021

End service cuts and care charges

Fight for free, public, adult social care

Socialist Party members joined a care workers' protest in Manchester demanding a pay rise and union recognition organised by CASWO! on 4 September, photo Manchester and Salford SP

Socialist Party members joined a care workers' protest in Manchester demanding a pay rise and union recognition organised by CASWO! on 4 September, photo Manchester and Salford SP   (Click to enlarge)

Sarah Welch, West Sussex Socialist Party

Tory-controlled West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is proposing to cut Adult Services by 50% from 10 million to 5 million per year. It says that these cuts will not take place until 2022-23, but many community-based projects have already had their funding cut. This will be the third round of cuts to Adult Services since 2011.

The council wants to cut day services and residential places. The proposals are that all adults living in residential places or supported living will no longer have access to day services.

This will mean that many people in supported living will effectively just stay in their homes, with carers coming in a few times a day. For the remainder of the day they will be left on their own, severely impacting their mental health, leaving them isolated and bored. These are the most vulnerable people in our community. As carers, we fear for their safety.

Adults living at home with family will have priority access to day care services. However, they will be restricted to just three days per week. They will also only be able to access one provider, and most will not be able to offer services three days a week. What happens during the rest of the week? What about carers who have work responsibilities?

Postcode lottery

To add insult to injury, disabled people nationally now have to pay a client contribution towards their care. The contribution is calculated based on a financial assessment of a person's income and 'disability related expenditure'. Following this assessment the local authority sets a 'minimum income guarantee'- its assessment of the amount needed for a person to live on. Every local authority is different, an unfair postcode lottery.

The client contribution is calculated as a person's income, minus the 'minimum income guarantee' and the 'disability related expenditure'. Many disabled people are left with very little income. For some it is a choice between heating their home, eating, or paying the care charge. Many are being pushed into debt, living in a state of fear and desperation, and left to struggle without the appropriate care and support needed to live a happy life.

The legality of this tax is being questioned. At the end of 2019, Norfolk County Council was taken to the High Court about the client contribution and lost. Norfolk County Council then had to pay all of the money back, plus interest, to all service users who had paid the charge.

We continue to fight these cuts to our service and the social care charge. We have linked up with other campaign groups around the country and it has now become a national campaign.

Our vision for social care is that it should be publicly owned, free, and funded by government, paid for by the super-rich who have only got richer during the pandemic. The best way to improve how adult social care is administered is if it is controlled democratically by service users, care workers, and the local community.

We will continue to fight these cuts, and campaign that social care should be free at the point of use. We will always fight for our people who are continually attacked by a system that sees them as surplus to requirements.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 8 September 2021:


NHS and social care

NHS and social care - make the rich pay, not the workers

Workers shouldn't pay for health and social care plans

End service cuts and care charges

Families demand rights for care home residents

Whipps Cross hospital workers reject the 3%


What we think

A pivotal moment for the trade union movement


Socialist Party news and campaigns

Socialist Party national council - members enthused by excellent in-person meeting

Why I joined the Socialist Party


Education

Union action needed to make schools Covid safe

Fighting NEU leadership needed to tackle school funding crisis

Schools funding crisis fails vulnerable children

University bosses push through pension cuts proposal


9/11 twenty years on

9/11 and the 'War on Terror' twenty years on


Workplace news

Bexley bin workers win big gains after six-week strike

Equity protest to save arts centre forces talks from Newham Council

DWP: Demand safe working and more jobs

DHL workers to strike against wage theft


Youth Fight for Jobs

Organising to defend our future: 9 October- Youth fight for jobs day of action

Building Youth Fight for Jobs in the South West


International news

Libya - ten years after Gaddafi's overthrow

US Supreme Court refuses to challenge Texas abortion ban

Keep fascists out of Portland: Build a mass movement to fight the right


Readers' opinion

The street I live on

Socialist change, not climate change

Vigil: A nuclear sub murder mystery


Obituary

Obituary: Roger Henshaw, comrade and class fighter


 

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Related links:

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triangleNational Education Union deputy general secretary election

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triangleObituary - Dave Hardaker, 1952-2021

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triangleTV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

triangleW Sussex 'disability tax' - protest not going away

Disability:

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Disability, neurodivergency, and the left

triangleCapitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights

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