The rights of individuals, who may be left harmed or destitute by a lack of care, to adequate wellbeing and basic dignity are far from controversial.
The right to dignity, free development and an adequate state of wellbeing are codified in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
As one of the key authors of the UDHR, and a supposed champion of human rights, the notion that the UK Government could willingly ignore these rights, within its own population of potentially vulnerable adults, is astounding.
Yet the crisis of unmet need in English social care only grows.
Recent Age UK research claimed that 1.2 million older people don’t get the social care they need – up 48% since 2010; an issue clearly exacerbated by austerity. That is nearly 1 in 8 older people struggling without the help they need to carry out essential everyday tasks.
This means that members of our communities and families are missing out not only on the basic material goods and activities of life, but the basic autonomy, choice and control over their lives that many of us take for granted.
With social care spending set to fall to below 1% of GDP by 2020, despite rising demand and inflationary pressures, thousands more older and people with disabilities will be left without access to services.
That’s thousands more elderly people and people with disabilities without the wellbeing and dignity that is their right.
This isn’t ideological. Not left nor right, but right and wrong. We can’t accept the Government’s neglect.