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There Is No Logical Reason To Justify The Government Not Giving Enough Money To Social Care

27/01/2017 11:45
Julian Elliott Photography via Getty Images

The government has been criticised for going too far in its lack of social care funding, but now it is facing a new low altogether. Theresa May's reluctance to provide additional finance has enforced the need for a referendum in Surrey, in which people will be made to vote on whether they wish to offer up £200 more of their money in council tax. The chances that people will willingly vote to do this seem somewhat slim, and if they choose to not part with £200 of their own money, in addition to the tax they already pay, then can they really be blamed? It is the government's responsibility to ensure that essential social care services are sufficiently resourced for members of the British public. This is supposed to be a welfare state, a phrase suggesting in its definition that the government should be providing us with our basic needs so long as we pay a pre-arranged proportion of our income in tax; we should not have to effectively pay for our social care twice.

In an attempt to justify not providing sufficient resources to social care, a Tory spokesperson has suggested that Surrey County Council now has increased autonomy and can ensure that its money goes to the right places. This illustrates the impressive Tory ability to sugar-coat what will in reality result in increased challenges for people. Surrey's local council will have the ability to spend the money it has independently; however, it will be spending money that has unnecessarily been offered up by the tax payer in place of the funding that should have been provided to the county by the Tory government.

According to local councils, charging each member of the public extra will still not provide sufficient payment for social care services by a significant margin. It is abundantly clear that we need more governmental funding, and the idea that the public should be expected to delve further into their own pockets to deal with the rise in care costs, when the government has the means to provide the extra finance, is completely illogical. The Tories have no excuse, as Jeremy Corbyn has suggested an obvious alternative to not providing adequate social care funding; May could instead consider not reducing corporate tax from 20% to 17%. This is evidently a more viable solution to idly forcing the responsibility of social care onto the backs of local councils, and effectively the general public. The fact that the Tory leadership has not done this demonstrates its egotistical predominant interest - to retain popularity among the rich, while in the process condemning those most in need of social care.

It is difficult to get on board with May's noncompliance, even within her own Party. The open rebellion of Tory MPs against May's decision to not provide extra funding highlights the general confusion that May has aroused, as not even Tory MPs fully understand May's reasoning for her refusal to pay up. Dr Sarah Wollaston, who has directly addressed the lack of funding and the problems that this has caused within the NHS, highlights the need for May to quickly think up a long-term solution to combat the increasing social care costs. Is it really reasonable to burden local councils and the general public with this issue when the Tory leadership itself is accountable for the NHS crisis, partially due to its lack of social care funding in the first place? The Tories who have supported the decision to increase council taxes to battle the rising costs of social care have admitted that this can only be a temporary measure. Ultimately, it does not make sense that the Tory leadership does not feel the need to concentrate its funding in social care, bearing the current NHS crisis in mind. Regardless of the rising costs, what could possibly be more important than financing the support structures for the health and wellbeing of members of the British public?

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