Tap water all round
By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON
With a comfortable majority and a prime minister who has already publicly pledged to ‘fix social care’, it might be thought that older people and those looking out for their interests would be polishing the sherry glasses, but I dare say they’re not.
Most of those who voted last Thursday had matters other than social care uppermost in their minds; it had not been a major issue in the decades, years, months and days leading up to last week’s election and it is pretty certain that this Government, like other governments of various political hues before it, will now feel under still less pressure to alter it’s long-standing insouciance.
Of course, with Britain’s departure from the European Union now practically nailed-on, nobody can predict how the tens of thousands of non-British workers currently helping to provide social care services will respond – they may feel even less valued than they are at present, and less secure. Will they vote with their feet? And how will potential workers from outside the European Union interpret last week’s election? Might they not see it as an expression of a more general xenophobia extending beyond Europe? If so, a significant financial carrot may have to be dangled to counteract a possible exodus, entice people to what they may see as being unfriendly shores or persuade the local citizenry to fill the gap in the labour market.
Furthermore, government may feel the need to beef-up social care in order to try to offset the negative effects of a potentially increasingly privatised National Health Service. So there are several scenarios in which we might see more public money coming into social care, but not to address the present level of unmet need or to reduce the numbers of older people who are currently compelled to impoverish themselves.
I think the drinks cabinet will remain unopened for some years to come.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.