On Monday 9th January I challenged the Heath Secretary on how he plans to tackle the growing crisis in the NHS and social care. Government plans to use council tax rises to try and fill the huge gap in funding for social care are completely inadequate and will only increase inequality as the country’s poorest regions will be least able to raise the money they so desperately need.
My latest article for the Leicester Mercury is about the biggest issues facing Leicester West and the UK in 2017. You can read it here.
The 10th December 2016 marked the first anniversary of the Paris climate change agreement which sets out a global action plan to address climate change and reduce global warming. The agreement was signed by the UK along with many other nations who pledged their support towards this important issue but there are concerns that our Government is not doing enough.
Leicester Friends of the Earth have made a Christmas card for the Prime Minister asking for more action on climate change. The card is full of signatures including my own which I will be presenting to the Prime Minister. I have also written to the Prime Minister to ask for assurances that reducing the impact of climate change and global warming is a key priority for the Government.
On Wednesday 14th December I questioned Ministers about their plans to change the way our schools are funded. I am deeply concerned that Leicester’s schools – which are already struggling under budget cuts – could lose even more money under the new proposals.
On Monday 12th December I questioned the Government over its plans to tackle the funding crisis in social care. The Government is wrong to think council tax rises alone will be able to cover the gaping hole in social care funding. Government cuts mean councils are facing a £2.8bn gap in funding for social care by 2020. But the social care precept raised just £380m this year – less than 3% of what councils planned to spend on services for those in need. The sum will also fail to cover the expected £612m cost of the rise in the National Minimum Wage.
Poor locations – which need publically funded social care the most – are also the least likely to be able to raise the amount of money they need through an increase in the social care precept. This year the most affluent areas are due to raise over twice as much through the tax as the most deprived locations. Families, care users and the NHS will be hit hard unless the Health Secretary provides a plan to fund social care. You can watch my speech here, or read the full debate here.
I’m campaigning for more affordable housing in Leicester West – including building more rented social housing – and help for homeowners through the recession.
As Labour’s Shadow Minister for Care and Older People I’m campaigning for better services and support for older people, carers and their families, and a sustainable system for funding social care in future.
I’m working to help your family by pressing for faster progress in local schools, more improvements in our NHS, and continued investment in children’s early years.
Helping businesses and making sure people have got the skills and training they need to work and earn a decent living is a top priority in Leicester West.