U.K.'s Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has requested Prime Minister Theresa May and top level leadership to cross party lines and hold an urgent meeting to discuss providing emergency top-up funding and other action plans to protect elderly and vulnerable people this Christmas.
Corbyn made the call to a letter he sent to the Prime Minister. He sounded the alarm in what he described as a social care system that is " breaking down" from lack of support. The opposition leader also underscored that after $4.6 billion of cuts to social care budgets have been taken since 2010, more than a million elderly people are not receiving the care they need. He says the social care is in a crisis which " threatens the well-being,dignity, lives of hundreds of thousands of older people".
Corbyn stated that it is a national disgrace for U.K. to be the sixth richest country in the world and yet face the painful reality that elderly and disabled people are being denied the dignity and care they so desperately need. And he squarely put the blame on the government for this social anomaly- on May's leadership and on her predecessors for their failure to properly fund social care.
This week the Conservatives announced an increase in social care funding of roughly
£ 900 million, way below the estimated £ 2 billion black hole it faces. The government has also said that local authorities could push forward council tax increases to help raise cash for social care services. But for Corbyn, such proposal does not cut it as relying upon council taxes " to plug the shortfall will lead to a post code lottery and shift the cost on to the already hard-pressed council taxpayers." Corbyn has also pointed the fact that local authorities themselves have suffered heavy and continuous cuts as it is.
The opposition leader also suggested that the emergency top up funding should tide services for the elderly and vulnerable until U.K.'s winter in April, while the government works on a longer-term, sustainable solutions to the funding and restructuring of social care provision that regards older and disabled people with the dignity they deserve and have earned.
Before writing to Theresa May, Corbyn has been strongly criticizing the government for the weak social care services of the elderly and the disabled people. He said that the social care crisis is forcing people to give up work to care for their vulnerable loved ones due to the lack of a system to do it for them. The setback is also making said affected people stay in hospitals longer than they should, and that their predicament lead those people into a " horrible, isolated life" when the whole society should be taking care of them.
The labor leader ended his letter with a challenge to Prime Minister Theresa May by underscoring that there is an opportunity to avert a crisis, but threw the all-important question to May: " will your government agree to take it?".