The Big Question

Would prime minister Gordon Brown be good for social care?

KERRY EVANS – Parent of two severely autistic sons
Disabled children with complex needs need integrated social care and education packages. Under Tony Blair, disability living allowance forms have improved. Similarly, David Cameron has a disabled child and is involved in looking at localising services for the disabled. But Gordon Brown’s agenda seems to be lacking in specifics.

JEAN STOGDON – Grandparents Plus
I think Brown’s values will influence his policies. When he talked at the Labour Party conference about the need to recognise “unpaid care”, he may have meant older people, but there is an opportunity here to look at child care too. There needs to be  a whole look at how families as a whole support each other, rather than focusing on the nuclear family.

LEN SMITH – Gypsy activist
Given his record as chancellor  – he’s supposed to have been one of the best ever – I think he’ll be good for social care funding. Money can go some of the way to compensate for inadequate policies, though obviously improvements in policy are also desirable. One area he should look at is that of the carers allowance, which is almost an insult.

KAREN SHOOK – Disability equality adviser
I’m worried about the vulnerable groups he didn’t mention in his conference speech. For years, increases in spending in other areas have meant cuts in social support services for disabled people, privatisation of services and increases in fees for  care services. These people often do not have a voice which is heard by government.

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