I am just going to make a bit of progress.
Mr Sweeney highlighted the difficult choices we have had to make. By painting an even bleaker picture of how things have panned out north of the border, he showed just how difficult those choices have been.
Emma Hardy spoke movingly about her constituents, Paul and Lily. She was right to highlight the very personal cases and individual stories that every single one of us comes across in our constituency casework. If she wants to send me more details, I am happy to raise the issue with my colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions.
The population is ageing. The number of people aged 75 and over is set to double over the next 30 years, and the number of people of working age with care needs is also growing. Some of today’s speakers have painted a picture of a social care system that is broken as a result of a lack of funding, but the truth is that while money is undoubtedly tight, if we are to face the challenges of an ageing population, we need to do more than just put more money in. We need a large-scale reform of the system if we are going to face the future with confidence that we can care for and support those who most need it. In the short term, we have put in around £10 billion of additional funding, but we will be bringing forward an adult social care Green Paper that will look at the long-term funding of adult social care.
Question put and agreed to.
That this House
notes that despite the Prime Minister announcing that austerity is over, local authorities’
spending power per household is on course to fall by an average of 23 per cent by 2020, and that nine of the 10 most deprived council areas in this country have seen reductions that are almost three times the average of any other council under this Government;
recognises that this has resulted in social care budgets in England losing £7 billion;
further notes that at the last General Election Labour committed to a fully costed plan to invest an additional £8 billion in social care over this Parliament;
and calls on the Government to ensure that local authorities and social care are properly and sustainably funded.