Moves to set out a common European standard for care services could be used to fight cuts in social care provision, a leading Labour MEP has predicted.
Richard Howitt, vice chair of all-party disability rights group, told a fringe session of the Labour conference that a consultation on devising common care standards was continuing in Brussels.
Howitt described the move as “an important way of buttressing against cuts”, adding: “It will make it more difficult for future governments to deliver cuts by stealth.”
Also speaking at the National Autistic Society/ Multiple Sclerosis Society fringe was Trevor Phillips, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, who raised the prospect of a separate challenge to cuts which could affect vulnerable people.
He said the commission was continuing talks with the government to ensure that it carried out equality impact assessments over changes to the tax and benefits system which affect groups including older people and children.
“We are talking to the Treasury pretty robustly about the process in which they will look at tax and benefits. We think they need to do more to show that they’ve complied with the law,” he said.
Later, speaking to Community Care, he said: “It’s not our purpose to pose a fundamental threat to the government and its plan. The government says it wants to do things fairly but there’s a process that can be made transparent.”
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails