Today (22 November), Parliament will vote on the Government’s Health and Care bill, which includes last minute amendments on social care funding.
A decade of Tory cuts and neglect has weakened social care and our NHS, leaving us with record waiting lists, missed A&E and cancer targets and a broken social care system, even before the pandemic.
Incredibly the government has chosen now to launch a major top-down reorganisation that will give private companies a say in the running of our NHS. It will fail to integrate health and social care, erode local accountability, and give powers to the Health Secretary to hand major contracts to the private sector without scrutiny.
There are no safeguards in this bill to prevent the involvement of profit-motivated organisations in our health service. Labour will fight this tooth and nail in the Commons this week.
We are calling on the Tories to join us and back amendments which will block private providers from sitting on NHS boards, and to make the NHS the preferred provider to prevent the scandal of dodgy contracts being handed out to the millionaire friends of Tory MPs.
We also want to see Tories joining us to vote against proposals to introduce an inheritance tax for the North. The Government want to see everyone pay the same amount towards their care costs, no matter how much money you have – meaning that someone with a million pound house in London will keep 90% of their assets whilst someone with £100k house in Sheffield will lose 80% of theirs.
We need to see proper plans to integrate care, give it the funding it needs and take these ridiculous proposals off the table which, alongside the hike to national insurance, makes working people pay twice for a system which will benefit the rich the most.