My 2013/14 Budget speech at Full Council

I didn’t really plan a speech but contributions from the Tories and Lib Dems got me inspired to stand up at the Budget setting meeting on Monday. Here is what I said;

“in 2013, the horizon is very different for disabled people.

Cllr Kansagra [Leader of the Brent Conservative Party] said in his speech that vulnerable people are protected in changes made by Government….. but that’s as true as a Lib Dem Focus leaflet I received a couple of weeks ago that said that David Clues was my ‘local’ Councillor when he’s living in Brighton.

What about Disability Living Allowance, where by the Government’s own admission, 200,000 will lose out on their disability benefits?

By the Government’s own admission, thousands will lose out on Carer’s Allowance because of the way that benefits interact with eachother.

This Budget supports carers with the introduction of a new Carer’s Hub. Mr Mayor, there are 23,000 Carers in Brent. People providing care to their loved ones in ways that we cannot even imagine. We will create a single access point for carers in Brent.

What about Employment Support Allowance? Disabled people who have worked all their lives and find themselves in adversity will have their benefits slashed if they have not found a job in 12 months

And what about the Bedroom Tax? Couples where one individual has to sleep in a hospital bed and the couple cannot share a room will be penalised for having an “extra” bedroom.

This Budget continues to offer hope and support to the Voluntary Sector – to the Brent CAB, who will often be the first point of call for Brent people affected by these changes.

Mr Mayor, Labour is the Party that offers hope to people in Brent at a time when examples are taken out of context and are out of the norm and are being used to soften the public mood for benefit changes that are damaging the lives of disabled people.

Mr Mayor, given the Lib Dem and Tory record in Government, I dread to think what they would do to services valued by the most vulnerable if god forbid the Lib Dems & Tories had control at this Town Hall again – and it’s with this I end my statement and support this Budget and it’s amendments.”

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Brent’s graph of doom

The graph below looks quite complicated but is the result of some sophisticated modelling in studying adult social care pressures in Brent. It looks at the impact on Brent Council’s budget because of adult social care pressures.

 

Brent GOD

The headline bars that provide concern are the sky blue trend line and the green trend line. It shows the actual budget gap as we move towards 2020.

Brent is impacted more than other boroughs through central Government funding cuts because 80% of our funding is sourced from them. The sky blue line projects the spending gap if the next Comprehensive Spending Review is as harsh to Brent Council as the one supported and voted for by Sarah Teather in 2010.

The green line predicates the budget gap without central government cuts and just  looking at demand and other cost changes.

The sky blue trend line shows that rising demand for care along with budgets cuts could create a gap of £45 million in Brent Council’s budget by 2020.

Without fundamental change in the way social care services are delivered and how Councils are funded, local authorities will be finding themselves calling on Government to remove statutory obligations from them so that we can stop providing certain services altogether. The Local Government Association says that funding for services such as libraries and leisure centres will fall by 90% as a result of rising adult social care and other compulsory costs, meaning many could disappear by the end of the decade.

Yesterday I blogged about Labour’s landmark process for health and social care reform introducing Whole Person Care  – LINK

Labour is working on practical solutions to the care ticking bomb crisis.