The Future of Social Care

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2019 National Retired Members Conference
12 June 2019

Conference notes that the Government has been promising a Green Paper on Social Care since 2017 and that, to date, nothing has been produced. Conference further notes that Social Care is now in crisis and deemed by many to be unsustainable in its current form.

The Government’s approach to this crisis has been to put it off for another day whilst it deals with the existential crisis of its own making that is Brexit. This dithering approach has led to the state of crisis we now face.

In order to resolve this crisis, conference agrees that

1)The Government’s Green Paper should be scrapped;

2)Government should move immediately to legislate to put in place a scheme whereby Personal Care is delivered, free at the point of need to all who need it whether in residential care, supported housing settings or at home;

3)The default position for the provision of services should be that they are delivered in-house. There are more than enough examples of failing care homes and home care agencies to provide evidence that in-house provision is better regulated, better staffed and better managed and so major investment of the kind being suggested here should be subject to this proviso given that Social Care should be seen to be a public service and not a means of making profits for hedge funds;

4)In order to fund this investment, Government needs to consider all possibilities including, as suggested by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) a rise in the basic rate of income tax of up to 2 pence in the pound or a rise in National Insurance contributions, or a combination of the two: the hypothecated use of Inheritance Tax to contribute to the cost and the introduction of a wealth tax amongst other possible tax raising mechanisms;

5)Government also needs to ensure that local Councils and National Health Service Organisations receive the necessary funds and protect their use for this purpose.

To this end Conference instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to support any campaign which favours the introduction of free personal care, such as that being conducted by Independent Age and the IPPR. To this end, the National Retired Members’ Committee will:

a)Work with the National Executive Council to establish this policy, in conjunction with other Trade Unions, and within the Trades Union Congress;

b)Work with other organisations within the United Kingdom to promote this policy such as Age UK and equivalent organisations in Scotland (where this is already policy), Wales and Northern Ireland;

c)Encourage Branches and their Retired Members’ Committees to vigorously pursue this policy at a local level, with local representatives of all of the above and with local Councils.