Budget 2017: Jeremy Corbyn Blasts Government's Lack Of Action On Social Care

Jeremy Corbyn has blasted the ‘uncaring, uncouth’ attitude of Tory MPs while criticising Philip Hammond’s failure to mention social care in his budget.

The Labour leader said people looking for help from the government’s economic plans had been ‘let down’ by the Chancellor, who he said had “the barefaced cheek to call this a strong economy”.

“It’s a record of failure with a forecast of more,” he added.

“Economic growth has been revised down. Productivity growth has been revised down. Business investment revised down.

“People’s wages and living standards revised down. What sort of ‘strong economy, fit for the future’ is that?”

Criticising the government’s lack of action on social care – which Labour says will have lost £6bn from its budgets by March next year – Corbyn strayed from his prepared speech to lambast an MP on the opposite benches. 

“I hope the honourable member begins to understand what it’s like to wait for social care, stuck in a hospital bed, while other people have to give up their work to care for them,” he said.

“The uncaring, uncouth attitude of certain members opposite should be called out.”

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Charities have warned of a looming social care crisis.

Charities also voiced their concerns and said the government had failed to take steps to address a looming crisis.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the MS Society, said: “The fact there is no more money for social care is alarming, and provides nothing to prevent the current crisis from worsening. The system desperately needs money now. Already one in three people with MS are struggling without the proper care they need.

“Unless the health and social care funding gap is addressed, people with MS, their families and carers will continue to pay the price for a system unable to cope with demand.”

National Children’s Bureau chief executive Anna Feuchtwang said councils across the country are facing an increased demand for care services in the community – leaving many with no option but to respond to only the most serious situations.

She added: “The government has ignored their warnings and done nothing to inject funding into services already cut to the bone. Four in ten of the local councillors responsible for providing children’s social care say that a lack of resources is preventing them from fulfilling their statutory duties to children, including those at considerable risk of harm and abuse. 

“We should be stepping in early to help these children and families, but this budget will force councils to provide social care on an emergency basis only.”

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Jeremy Corbyn on a visit at the Kirkgate Centre, Shipley, to speak to older people about Labour’s plans to fund social care.

Corbyn said the government’s plan to set up three new ‘taskforces’ to tackle homelessness was not good enough, criticised its failure to act on ending period poverty and warned businesses would begin to leave the UK if it did not “pull its finger out” on Brexit negotiations. 

“Businesses are delaying investment decisions, but if this government doesn’t get its act together soon they will be taking relocation decisions,” he added.

“Crashing out with ‘no deal’ and turning Britain into a tin-pot tax haven will damage people’s jobs and living standards, serving only a wealthy few.”

He also criticised Hammond’s failure to provide new investment for additional safety measures in high rise buildings in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

“Our country is marked by growing inequality and injustice,” the Labour leader told the Commons.

“We were promised a revolutionary budget. The reality is nothing has changed. People were looking for help from this budget, they have been let down.

“Let down by a government that, like the economy they’ve presided over, is weak and unstable and in need of urgent change.

“They call this budget ‘fit for the future’. The reality is this is a government no longer fit for office.”

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