Crippen asks why Liz Kendall ignored disabled-led social care plans in major speech

You may remember a blog I did about Keir Starmer’s election campaign and his promise to make fundamental reforms, including a right to independent living enshrined in law.

Well, as reported in Disability News service (DNS) this all seems to have conveniently gone away as the first major speech by Labour’s shadow social care minister Liz Kendall, ignored disabled-led proposals for fundamental reform. In her speech, Kendall made no reference to the idea of free social care, or any of the proposals made by the National Independent Living Support Service (NILSS).

The NILSS proposal, which was drawn up by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA), would provide a universal right to independent living that was “enshrined in law”, and would introduce free social care in England, funded by national and progressive taxation.

Labour’s apparent back-tracking on Starmer’s support for NILSS comes amid mounting concern about the current government’s plans for social care reform, and the fact that no proposals were included in the recent Queen’s speech.

Speaking at the spring conference of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services – which Labour had described as her first major speech on social care since becoming shadow minister – Kendall spoke repeatedly about the need for higher wages for care workers and more support for family carers.

She did call for more “power and control” for service-users and families and spoke about the need for more support to enable people to live in their own homes for longer, rather than in residential care.

But Kendall focused through her speech on older people’s care, even though working-age adults account for more than half (PDF) of local authority spending on social care.

Some of the grassroots groups behind the NILSS proposals, including ROFA and DPAC, are set to meet Kendall later this month. I’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

A couple of disabled people are confronting Keir Starmer with his broken promises regarding social care. One of them, a wheelchair user with pink hair  is holding up a placard that reads ‘labour promised independent living to be enshrined in law’. Opposite them stands Starmer and a colleague, both wearing identical grey suits and red ties. Starmer’s colleague is saying: “oh come on – nobody believes election promises!” Starmer is saying: “Naive or what?!” On the floor at their feet are a couple of torn up pieces of paper with ‘free social care’ and ‘broken promises’ printed on them.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 13/05/2021 at 19:58

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .


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