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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2022

West Sussex care campaigners' victory

Now let's fight to end all cuts and scrap 'disability tax'

West Sussex Protest. Photo: West Sussex SP

West Sussex Protest. Photo: West Sussex SP   (Click to enlarge)

Sarah Welch, West Sussex Socialist Party

West Sussex Tory council will not cut adult services in 2022 or 2023. Our campaign has certainly made an impact.

But cuts could come in 2024, so we have to keep fighting. In the meantime, we are campaigning against the care charge or, as we call it, the disability tax.

The council says £132 a week for under-25s and £152 for over-25s is enough to live on. Anything disabled residents receive in benefits above this, they have to pay to the local authority.

To claw back a bit of income, people can submit evidence to the council finance department. This involves a lot of time and effort that quite frankly carers do not have.

I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent collating and submitting evidence on behalf of my son. To go cap in hand to a load of number crunchers is demeaning. They have no empathy towards disability and treat us with contempt.

One mother is dying, and the centre that her son attends is trying to support the family. But the family are being hounded for the care charge, and are not in a position to pay.

Centre staff have told the council of the situation. But the council is adamant it will continue to pursue arrears, as it says it has received no evidence.

Many have stopped accessing support, as they can no longer afford the charge. People are broken and unable to cope. Many have had suicidal thoughts.

Outrageously, the council privatised its finance department in 2012, before deciding that it should be brought back in-house eight years later. A lot of money has been wasted on outsourcing. This shortfall is being passed on to disabled people.

A council committee gave the full council eight months to make an improvement plan - this is a completely inadequate response. It does not appreciate the pain their policy is causing.

There must be an immediate moratorium on the charges. Our aim is to scrap the care charge altogether.

Amanda Jupp, West Sussex council cabinet member for care and health, said: "In most cases, higher charges were due to people having higher incomes than the last time they had been assessed, and most complaints have now been resolved".

This is complete rubbish. Some charges have gone up 400%. Benefits have not gone up by 400%! 'Resolved' complaints for the council means that people have exhausted themselves and given up.

Our campaign, Warrior Carers, is gathering momentum. We have the council on the back foot. The fight goes on, and we are not going away.

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In The Socialist 16 February 2022:


What we think

Britain's economic growth figures mask fragile false recovery


News

'Labour by name - Tory by policy'

Covid: Fight for full sick pay

Met police boss ousted

Tory stealth taxes burden 'packhorse generation'

Left Labour MPs under pressure over Erdington

'Stand together and fight'

Neither Washington, London nor Moscow

Australian nurses strike against understaffing and low pay


Erdington by-election

Birmingham Erdington by-election

Campaigning in Birmingham Erdington by-election


Saltley Gate

From our history: 1972 miners' strike


PCS elections

PCS Elections 2022: Time for new union leadership


Workplace news

Barts NHS strike

NEU strike at girls' school chain over pensions

University workers striking back

"If we don't fight, we won't win!"

Just Eat strike spreads and forces concessions

Join the scaffs mass picket at Scunthorpe steelworks

Worksop Wincanton workers win pay rise after strike


Campaigns

West Sussex care campaigners' victory

Why I'm going to Socialist Students conference

Campaigning to make 2 March student walkout happen

Stop eviction of Camden homeless collective

East Sussex: Poverty and cuts bring people to Socialist Party

Save St Mary's Leisure Centre

Fund us to fight for socialism


Readers' opinion

TV: 'Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight'

TV: 'A Killing in Tiger Bay'

How Cardiff Bay's redevelopment led to 'social cleansing'


 

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Related links:

Sussex:

triangleEast Sussex: Poverty and cuts bring people to Socialist Party

triangleWest Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

triangleW Sussex 'disability tax' - protest not going away

triangleCapitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights

triangleW. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Council:

triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

triangleBrighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

triangleRestore Cardiff's slashed services

triangleCoventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council

Disability:

triangleThe struggle for accessible workplaces and an inclusive society

triangleEnd service cuts and care charges

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Disability, neurodivergency, and the left

Disabled:

triangleLeeds taxi drivers and disabled passengers unite to fight station changes

triangleNews in brief

Cuts:

triangleSurrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate

Benefits:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The minimum wage and working week, pensions and benefits

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triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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