Labour says calling without spending a dime social care would ‘simply give Tories a follow beat us with’ – Incapacity Information Service
Labor has sent the strongest signal yet by withdrawing its new leader’s promise to introduce free welfare payments if his party comes to power after a shadow cabinet member said such a policy was too expensive.
Thangam Debbonaire told party women members at a meeting last weekend that the introduction of free social care for disabled and elderly people would “give the Tories a stick to beat Labor with,” the Disability News Service (DNS) said.
She apparently claimed that such a policy would cost “£ 100 billion” and cost more than the NHS ‘annual budget.
She also said right-wing newspapers would attack politics and Labor would lose in the next election.
This week Labor couldn’t deny that it made the comments.
Debbonaire (pictured), Labour’s shadow leader in the House of Commons, spoke at a “composite meeting” that discussed how various motions proposed by constituency Labor parties (CLPs) could be merged into a single motion to be debated can be voted on at the Labor Women’s Conference this weekend.
Several CLPs had accepted motions calling for free welfare, and a draft composite motion included two references to free welfare, including a call on Labor to promise to “make the provision of all welfare free to the recipient, as was the case with the Health is the case “. NHS care ”and that social welfare is“ needs-based and publicly funded, free of charge on site ”.
But the final version of the proposal, prepared just before the meeting, deleted all mentions of free social welfare.
A disabled party member who attended the virtual meeting told the Disability News Service (DNS) afterwards that Labor had betrayed and silenced its disabled members.
She said the party is now run by “cowardly, unprincipled careerists” who “would have no solidarity if hit with a big stick”.
She said, “Right now, many of us are fighting the DWP, the government and the local authorities just to survive.
“But apparently the hope that we don’t always have to fight like this promises us is too expensive.”
As recently as last month, DNS reported that Labor had refused to explain why a grand speech by its Shadow Secretary for Social Welfare, Liz Kendall, had ignored disabled-led proposals for fundamental reform – including free social welfare – supported by Keir Starmer during his lead Election campaign.
Starmer endorsed the National Independent Living Support Service (NILSS) proposals during its successful campaign to be elected party chairman last year, and told DNS in February 2020 that he supported a motion that supports these proposals, which was made at the Annual Labor Conference adopted.
NILSS, developed by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA), would provide a “statutorily” universal right to independent living and introduce free social care in England, funded by national and progressive taxation .
But yesterday (Wednesday) a Labor spokesman refused to say why the party had withdrawn Starmer’s support for the NILSS motion; refused to say why the references to free welfare were removed from the composite welfare application document; refused to cite the source for Debbonaire’s claim that free welfare would cost £ 100 billion or more than the NHS budget; refused to say, if the party agreed, that calling for free welfare would give the Tories a stick to beat Labor and that they would lose the party in the next election; refused to deliver the party’s message to people with disabilities and allies fighting for free social care; and refused to say why Labor was unwilling to fight for the right of disabled and elderly people to free welfare.
But the spokeswoman said in a statement: “The final proposal was democratically approved by all CLPs attending the meeting and will be debated and voted on this weekend by the National Women’s Conference.”
Meanwhile, an open letter from social welfare organizations – including the Social Care Future campaign group, which includes some disabled members but is not directed and controlled by disabled people – has not called for free welfare.
The letter also does not call for a legal right to independent living that would enable the government to comply with Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, despite the fact that the Gender Equality and Human Rights Commission made such a call last month.
Instead, she calls for “financing for short-term stabilization”, “longer-term investments” and “short-term investments to accelerate the transition to a social system that is as sustainable as it is contemporary”.
The letter to the Prime Minister, Chancellor, and Health and Welfare Ministers was also issued by the Think Local Act Personal Partnership, the Chair of the Community Wellbeing Board of the Local Government Association, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, the Care Providers Alliance, and the President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
A SCIE spokesperson told DNS, “This was a letter agreed by a number of partner organizations and the issues raised in the letter were considered the most important as we push for an update before the summer break. “
But Social Care Future signed another Welfare Reform Declaration calling for free welfare.
This declaration was also signed by the disability-led organizations Disability Rights UK, Inclusion London, Reclaiming our Futures Alliance, Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living and Shaping Our Lives.
It follows the government’s recent pledge to publicize its repeatedly delayed welfare reform plans by the end of the year.
They believe that organizations run by disabled people are excluded from the current discussions at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.
They want organizations and individuals to sign the statement by July 4th before it goes to the government.
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