The Green Party now supports publicly funded care, free at the point of use
The Green Party has been meeting in Birmingham for their autumn conference. After a flurry of speeches from the party’s leadership, members have now begun debating and voting on policy motions.
On Saturday 23 October, members voted to back a policy of free social care for disabled adults. The motion stated that, “personal care and support for disabled adults should be provided free, so that they can operate from a financial foundation equal to their peers. This includes any expenses incurred from having a disability, such as communication aids, interpretation and accommodation adaptations, mental health support, personal mobility aids, learning support, counselling, psychotherapy, art and music therapy or other therapies as appropriate.”
The policy passed by members commits the party to supporting a system of care which is fully publicly funded, free at the point of use and “underpinned by a workforce with good pay, conditions, training and career structure”. According to the Green Party, this would end of a system in which many people have to pay for private social care, which has been estimated to cost £11 billion per year, and even those who receive publicly-funded social care end up paying a total of more than £3 billion towards their support.
Speaking on the motion, Larry Sanders – the party’s former health and care spokesperson, and the brother of the once US Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders – said, “The NHS is based on the principle that need, not wealth, should determine the health care we get. Today, the Green Party backed the same principle for Social Care.
“The hundreds of thousands of people who need help to eat and wash, get residential care when they need it and to lead a full life under their own control, can do so with their support paid for in the same way as the NHS. The Tory government said that charges should be capped at £86,000. We say they should be capped at zero.
“We also committed ourselves to good pay and conditions for care workers and to giving family carers the support they need.”
This article was jointly published with Bright Green.