Lib Dems Criticise Uncaring Government
Warrington Liberal Democrats have criticised the government for their uncaring attitude to social care and universal credit.
At Council on 20th September, we spoke in support of two Labour motions calling for letters to be sent to our MPs and government ministers asking for more support for needy Warrington residents.
Cllr Ian Marks said: The Government's recent announcements about extra funding for health and social care may be a step in the right direction but in no way solves the crisis 'once and for all' as the Prime Minister had promised. Of the £12billion a year, only £1.8billion will go to social care. The NHS needs money but we know it is a bottomless pit.
The Conservative Chairman of the Local Government Association has said the plan makes the situation worse. An assessment for the Treasury states the increase in National Insurance could result in family breakdown and deter companies from hiring new staff and increasing wages. Liberal Democrats believe an increase in Income Tax would have been much fairer.
It is almost inevitable that the Council Tax precept will have to rise again next year to pay for social care. There are 120,000 vacancies for care workers and many are leaving for better paid and less stressful jobs in supermarkets or delivery firms. The refusal by some care workers to be jabbed will add to the pressure on care companies and our own social services department. Unpaid care workers are under intense pressure too and must not be forgotten.
Cllr Judith Wheeler added: Cutting the Universal Credit uplift by £20 a week will affect five million families who struggle with the cost of living. This cut comes at a time when furlough is ending, inflation is increasing and energy prices are rising dramatically. This decision shows a lack of understanding by the government about the impact on claimants.
Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that over 16,000 families in Warrington could be pushed into poverty by losing this lifeline. Do we really want to increase the stress and anxiety and reduce the standard of living of many Warrington families by removing this vital safety net?