Thank you Madam Mayor
Let me begin by saying I am Happy to be speaking in support of our budget this evening.
The situation with social care is beyond a crisis. Social care is facing a cliff edge.
Since 2010 billions has been cut from the social care budget nationally.
In spite of this government’s ideological austerity policy, we have worked hard to protect our most vulnerable residents, including the elderly, disabled and those living with a long term health condition.
Whilst we are doing all we can to ensure we protect the vulnerable.
This government has chosen to ignore them.
Make no mistake, the Tories have chosen not to adequately fund social care services here in Lambeth.
There are around 4000 people receiving some form of social care support.
Disabled people representing a third of them.
You cannot discuss social care without referring to disability which this government has failed to do. A reminder of how, some of the most vulnerable can be easily forgotten.
To those who need support, social care is essentially a lifeline.
A care worker helps someone shower in the morning or cook a hot meal.
What is happening in the social care system is representative of a wider assault on disabled people’s right to live independently.
£28bn has been cut from social security for disabled people since 2013 including cuts to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
The axing of the independent living fund which helped thousands of severely disabled people live in their own homes.
In Lambeth we are protecting our most severely disabled.
The ideological cuts have plunged thousands of disabled people deeper into poverty.
The Tories alternative budget has accepted the need to raise council tax by 3% for social care. But the extra income from council tax will not bring in anywhere near enough money to alleviate the growing pressure on social care both now and in the future.
In Lambeth, social care services are struggling because the Tory government isn’t giving us enough money
Their budget proposes: “Extra spending on adult social care”
However, £270,000 additional spending is a drop in the ocean compared to the pressures on adult social care, given the Conservative government has cut billions from social care, piling on pressure on the NHS, but is refusing to listen to experts and act to prevent the social care crisis.
Like central government the Tory alternative budget does not address the funding gap.
The government must provide money for social care. Their failure to act could lead to some of our most vulnerable residents facing an uncertain future. It is time for this government to act now.
Cllr Marsha de Cordova, Labour Councillor for Larkhall Ward