Hft, a national charity that supports adults with learning disabilities, is calling on the next Prime Minister to reinstate the position of Minister of State for Social Care in his or her next Cabinet as a matter of urgency.
The charity has long highlighted the ongoing financial pressures that have been facing the social care sector, with local authority budget cuts, unfunded increases to the National Living Wage, and challenges arising from the Apprenticeship Levy all undermining its financial sustainability.
Social care had been the portfolio for a Minister of State since 2008, before Theresa May reshuffled her Cabinet and assigned social care to a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, a junior ministerial position. Billy Davis, Public Affairs & Policy Manager, Hft, commented “we believe that this is tantamount to a ‘demotion’ in priority for social care.”
In their manifesto A sector in crisis: The case for the reinstatement of a Minister of State for Social Care, the charity highlights that a Minister of State would be:
- better able to develop a holistic view of the social care sector and would have the seniority to implement real change in government policy.
- in a unique position to understand the impact of developing policy and legislation in other departments on such a critical and financially vulnerable sector.
- a single point of contact for external stakeholders to engage with government on issues of policy.
Mr Davis added: “The Government may claim that there is no correlation between the seniority of ministers and the priority given to policy areas but our manifesto shows that, constitutionally and anecdotally, this does not add up. We urge the next Prime Minister to be bold and reinstate the Minister of State for Social Care as a matter of urgency.”
To read the manifesto in full, please visit: www.hft.org.uk/ge2017