The Liberal Democrats have written to the Cabinet Secretary demanding the government publish details of the alleged “Memorandum of Understanding’ with Surrey County Council to call off its referendum on raising council tax to pay for social care.
The claim at Prime Minister’s Questions that a secretive deal was reached between Surrey County Council and the government comes as NHS figures today reveal there there has been an 8% fall in front-line social care workers employed by councils, with a decrease of 5,000 staff over the last year.
Commenting, Norman Lamb, Lib Dem Shadow Health Secretary, said:
“If ministers did reach a memorandum with Surrey County Council, it must be made public immediately.
“There shouldn’t be a secretive, backdoor deal for a county which happens to have two Conservative Cabinet ministers while other councils are left high and dry. The social care crisis does not end at the borders of Surrey.
LGA Lib Dem Group Leader, Gerald Vernon Jackson, added:
“Across the country, due to the government failing to tackle the funding crisis, our social care system is being starved of cash and drained of workers, failing older people and putting huge pressure on the NHS. Extra funding must be made available to all councils responsible for social care across the country.
“The Prime Minister must accept that social care services across the country are facing an existential threat and that more funding is urgently needed.”
Notes to Editors
NHS figures out today show that 5,000 social care workers in councils left their jobs in the past year, with an 8% fall from 60,800 to 55,800 working in Direct Care. Overall the number of people working in direct social care in councils has plummeted by 37% since 2011, with 33,000 fewer now working in Direct Care than five years ago. Find out more.