Learning Disability Coalition anti-cuts campaign wins MPs’ backing

An early day motion sponsored by the Learning Disability Coalition criticising cuts in services has received widespread support from MPs.

As of 11 March, 164 MPs had signed up to the motion proposed in December last year by Labour MP Tom Clarke. The signatories so far include 92 Labour, 46 Liberal Democrat and 15 Conservative MPs.

The motion was prompted by the Tell it like it is report published in July 2008 by the LDC, a group of 12 campaign organisations and charities including Mencap, the Downs Syndrome Association and Sense.

Alarm over service cuts

It calls for the House of Commons to express alarm over the report’s findings that 34% of people with a learning disability surveyed have had their daytime services cut and that an increasing number are being “squeezed out of the social care system” as councils restrict eligibility criteria.

In addition, the motion raises concerns over an increasing demand on services and calls on the government to take action in the forthcoming adult social care green paper.

Strength of opinion

LDC director Heather Honour said that the motion’s success demonstrated the strength of opinion in Parliament over service cuts. She added: “We’re delighted with the response, at the minute we are ranked 10th out of 1124 motions.

“In the run up to the publication of the green paper on funding adult social care, it’s very important that the government are aware that MPs are concerned about cuts. There’s not enough funding in the system to honour government policies.
“Demand for services is also growing by 3 and 5% per annum, which is considerably higher than the 1% used for government projections.”

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