Andrew Gwynne has joined Independent Age in calling for action to eliminate the ‘catastrophic costs’ that people face at a time when people need support and security.


Our social care system is in crisis, and chronic underfunding is taking its toll on older people. Weekly costs for residential care often runs into many hundred or thousands of pounds, making it difficult for many older people to pay for the vital care and support that they need. Everyone with more than £23,250 has to pay for support. Below that threshold, they contribute to the cost – with the amount paid based on means-testing of both savings and income.


In a policy announcement last week, Labour promised to reverse the impact of Conservative-imposed austerity on support for those with caring needs. Labour estimates that it could offer care to over 160,000 older people who currently do not receive help, including 50,000 home care packages for dementia sufferers.


Of the £8bn put aside for social care in the 2017 manifesto, Labour will spend £2.8bn overall on new home care packages for vulnerable people and people with dementia, plus a total of £350 million on training to develop the social care workforce, and aims to increase the earnings threshold for carers allowance in line with the national living wage.


Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Barbara Keeley, said:

“There is still no sign of their social care green paper, which was promised over two years ago, and vulnerable older people have needlessly suffered as a result of the government’s failure. People with dementia are unfairly punished when it comes to paying for their care needs so Labour will correct this injustice in government. We want care staff to be properly paid and trained, so that they can provide the kind of compassionate care that they want to give. We must offer dignity and security to all vulnerable people.”


Andrew Gwynne MP, said:

“We are announcing £2.8 billion to increase the number of home care packages for vulnerable people and people with dementia. That should provide support for some 160,000 people. They are the people who are currently getting no care at all. So that’s why we’re making them a priority.”


“We have to keep on until the Government wake up and understand the damage they are doing to the fabric of so many communities in England – by cutting our local neighbourhood services and depriving people-based services, such as adult social care and children’s services, of the resources they need.

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