UK Politics

Corbyn calls for talks with PM on social care funding

Jeremy Corbyn Image copyright PA

Jeremy Corbyn has written to the prime minister calling for urgent talks on social care funding in England.

The Labour leader has urged Theresa May to provide "emergency top-up funding" to protect the elderly and vulnerable.

Councils have been told to bring forward council tax rises, after funding cuts from Whitehall.

A government spokesman said extra funding was being provided and Mrs May was "clear that we need to find a long-term sustainable solution".

In the letter, Mr Corbyn says social care is a "deepening crisis" threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of older people.

He said the government "must take responsibility" and that relying on council tax to foot the costs would lead to a postcode lottery.

Last week, the Local Government Association criticised the government's decision to not give any extra money in social care funding.

Instead, ministers will let local authorities bring forward council tax rises, and money cut from a housing scheme will be spent on social care.

Mr Corbyn writes: "After £4.6bn of cuts to social care budgets since 2010, more than a million elderly people are not getting the care they need."

A Conservative Party spokesman said Labour had "no credibility" when it came to social care.

"They had 13 years to find a long-term solution and totally failed to do so," he said.

"Now they suggest raising corporation tax, a pot of money they have already promised to spend on higher welfare payments, scrapping university tuition fees and ending public sector pay restraint."

Mr Corbyn has proposed an urgent meeting at "the highest level" to discuss emergency support for social care and to look at more far-reaching solutions.

Downing Street has not responded to the letter directly and Mr Corbyn has not been invited to meet the PM.

In a statement published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, a government spokesman said: "On Thursday, the Government announced almost £900m of additional funding over the next two years to tackle these growing pressures.

"The prime minister is clear that we need to find a long-term sustainable solution, including making sure all local authorities learn from the best performers to raise standards across the whole system."

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