This week, pressure will build over government failure to reform and fund social care.TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady has said this will be a dominant issue at the forthcoming congress of the TUC. Communists are calling for reform of the service, a rise in staffing levels and a pay rise for those front liners who have held the line for all of us during the pandemic.
PM Johnson said he would fix it back in 2019. The situation has worsened since then. Staff has been lost, pay barely reaches the minimum, hours are off the scale, funding cuts, failure to oversee conditions across the service and elderly care being syphoned up by insurance and USA owned hedge funds. For them, it’s a hugely profitable business. For us, it’s a matter of the conditions of life.
The government increasingly uses the deficit and the size of the national debt to justify further rounds of planned austerity cuts. O’Grady has insisted that capital, not labour should fund a new social care system and fix staff pay. The government plans to raise taxes on working people to pay for social care. It’s an either-or situation. Either we pay, or the capitalists do.
Don’t be misled by government pleading says the CP political economy commission, “Debt interest payments as a percentage of GDP are at historically low levels. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that they will remain so despite the increase in debt arising from the pandemic. The OBR expect: ‘interest rates on new borrowing to remain low and the government to continue to benefit from the Bank of England holding around 30% of government bonds,’ i.e. the wholly government-owned Central Bank owns 30% of government debt so the headline figure is exaggerated by 43%.
They can afford it. But they won’t cough up structural change to the social care system, or the desperately needed pay rise unless we organise to make them.
Photo surce BBC