Green Party pledges free social care for older people

Party manifesto also pledges £900m to pay foster carers a wage and to treat emotional abuse of children "on a par" with physical abuse

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett launched the party's manifesto this morning. Photo: Rex

Social care would be free for all older people under a Green government, the party’s manifesto has pledged.

The manifesto, published today, pledged free social care and healthcare for all older people at a cost of “around £8bn a year” – rising to £9bn by the end of the parliament – and an end to “failed” austerity.

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said: “We believe in restoring and extending our public services to create good jobs and meet the needs of a diverse population.”

Emotional and physical abuse “on a par”

As part of its free social care for older people pledge, end-of-life social care would also be free so dying people can “choose where they die”.

The emotional abuse of children would be treated “on a par” with physical abuse, and police and child protection professionals will get guidance to help them tackle child neglect and abuse early.

The party has also pledged £900m to pay foster carers a wage.

The “crisis of our time”

The manifesto labels mental health “the crisis of our time”, and promises that a Green government would work towards ending stigma against people with mental health problems.

The Greens would increased spending on mental health care to ensure that everyone experiencing a mental health crisis would have safe access to 24/7 quality care, and that no-one would wait more than 28 days for access to talking therapies.

The use of police cells as “places of safety” for children “should be eliminated by 2016”, the party said.

Other social care pledges from the Green manifesto include:

  • A further £500m for free social care for adults aged 18-65
  • A 50% increase in the carer’s allowance
  • Access to suitable emergency accommodation for the 200,000 young people who go missing every year if they are unable to return home safely
  • National investment in evidence-based parenting programmes in order to improve the life chances of children and family well-being in the first 1,001 days of a child’s life
  • A UK-wide strategy to tackle violence against women, including domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation and trafficking.

 

More from Community Care

2 Responses to Green Party pledges free social care for older people

  1. chloe RM April 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    This is a great initiative in principle, but considering that dementia care alone has a total annual cost of over £26bn, £8bn seems like a rather small budget, notably as baby-boomers are getting older, which is why I genuinely wonder how this could be viable?

    I however fully support some of the other policies such as tackling violence against women and completely agree that the stigma against mental illness is an issue in itself, a lot of people not even being aware that they are suffering.

  2. Harold A. Maio April 14, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

    —ending stigma against … people with mental health problems

    I would rather put an end to the claim.

    We are about 20% of society, we earn to the millions, hold every university degree, and every professional, white, and blue collar job.

    I assure you, the vast number of us experience no such prejudice. The thought is preposterous.

    Yes, some of us do experience prejudices, -your- words are that,

    Harold A. Maio, retired mental health editor
    khmaio@earthlink.net