Punish these guilty parliamentarians!
Eighty-four per cent of Members of Parliament agree that local authorities should get additional funding for social care. Great news! At least that’s how it was greeted by the Local Government Association (LGA) which commissioned the survey. ‘The overwhelming majority’, ’far reaching cross-party support’, ‘now even MPs and peers agree that social care funding … must be increased’, its press release crowed.
But hang on a minute. Extra funds for care is pretty much a no-brainer these days, so how come that as many as 16% of our elected representatives oppose it? Can it really be that out of a House of Commons with 650 members, more than 90 believe that social care needs no additional resources? It gets worse. An even higher percentage of peers, 24% – that’s getting on for 200 – want to deprive care of more cash. Put that way round, the LGA ought to be sounding serious alarm bells, not celebrating what emerges as a distinctly hollow victory.
And who precisely are these latter day Scrooges? The survey was of course anonymous and covered only a sample, but isn’t it time that the guilty individuals were flushed out and named? It’s not sure when another general election will take place, far less whether care will be a prominent issue, but if MPs can be chastised for being anti-Jeremy or in favour of a soft Brexit, shouldn’t party members and voters know where they stand on care costs? As for the peers, we can’t of course deselect them, but once their views are in the open there is at least the chance to shame them publicly, strip them of positions of honour on charitable boards, throw a few rotten eggs. Or am I getting carried away?
Of course it isn’t only the current nay-sayers who are blameworthy. How many MPs and peers now claiming to be in the camp of the righteous have voted against care funding reform in the past, or indeed positively endorsed the cuts to local authority spending which have made the situation so much worse? As opposed to anonymous numbers in a survey, those votes really counted, and on that, surely not unreasonable, test there are very few honourable parliamentarians left standing.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.