Omission of social care from the Government’s Budget is ‘astounding’ – Sir Ed Davey

The “omission” of social care from the Government’s Budget is “astounding”, the acting co-Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey has said.

Sir Ed (pictured) called for a “care revolution” as he spoke of his own experience as a father of a disabled child.

Speaking in the Commons following Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget, he said: “Social care, whether it’s directly in the NHS or through local authorities, is one of the massive issues facing our country and we’ve got to debate it and we’ve got to get a grip of it and this Budget doesn’t do anything – anything.

“I think it’s quite astounding as an omission.”

Care, he argued, was a social justice issue, as he backed a “full comprehensive approach to the caring needs because we’ve just kicked it in the grass for way too long”.

He said: “We need a care revolution in this country, thinking about not just care for the elderly, but care for adults with learning disabilities. If you talk to local authorities it is the biggest, fastest rising part of their expenditure.

“I speak as a father of a disabled child who can’t walk or talk. He only said ‘daddy’ two years ago and he’s 12. I worry about what’s going to happen to him when I’m gone and my wife’s gone.”

He added: “We haven’t begun to debate this care issue. Instead we have a care sector on its knees.

“We are seeing care homes closing, we’re seeing shortages of care staff, partly because of Brexit – I am going to say that because it’s true – and partly because of the immigration restriction and partly because of the failure of this Government to really address the issues around social care.”

Sir Ed said he was “deeply disappointed” the Government was not properly reforming Universal Credit, adding the two-child limit was “extremely damaging” too many families.

He said the Government has failed to realise that Brexit “is going to damage productivity”.

Sir Ed said: “When I look at this Budget today I am deeply alarmed, I’m alarmed by the growth figures. I’ve looked at budgets over 30 years, I’ve rarely seen a budget where the growth forecast for the whole forecasting period for the British economy are less than 2% – and that is before coronavirus is taken into account.”

He added that the growth forecast figures are a result of “the impact of Brexit and the Government’s new immigration system”.

He said: “I and my party the Liberal Democrats want a fairer, greener economy, this Budget has not done that. We want a fairer, more caring society and this Budget has not got that done.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2020, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jonathan Brady / PA Wire.

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