This Week in Westminster - Friday 10 September 2021
Kerri Prince, Public and Political Affairs Lead for BASW UK, provides members with an update
What a week it has been!
The week kicked off with rumours circulating about the NHS and Social Care plan that the Prime Minister announced on Tuesday – and the rumours were true.
National Insurance contributions will be increasing to fund a health and social care levy – which BASW England have responded to. It was quickly pointed out that this was a direct break of an election promise that was in the Conservative Party manifesto.
Torn between not announcing anything on funding social care, or breaking an election promise, the Conservatives took a gamble and are pushing ahead with a tax increase. Whether this gamble will pay off electorally remains to be seen, but early polling has indicated that a majority of people are against this increase in national insurance. Another poll released last night by YouGov will have the Government worrying, as it put Labour in the lead for the first time since January.
When deciding on policies to pursue, it is impossible for a political party to not consider the impact it will have on professional polling figures – because this is the best indicator of public opinion outside of a General Election. The polls indicating a shift in opinion away from the Conservatives will have them worried ahead of the rest of the Commons stages of the Health and Social Care Levy Bill which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
APPG for Social Work
On Wednesday, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Social Work had its second evidence session for the inquiry into the integration of health and social care which is available to watch on BASW’s Facebook page. On Thursday, the APPG held its final evidence session for the inquiry into children’s social work models. The next stage of this inquiry is for a report to be drafted and agreed by the parliamentarians.
Join the campaign to stop the Universal Credit cut
BASW has also launched a campaign to encourage members to write to their MP and Government Ministers about the planned cut to Universal Credit.
If you haven’t yet done so, you can use our template letters to tell your elected officials your opposition to the planned cut.
Health and Care Bill Committee
As part of our public and political engagement, we have been working closely with parliamentarians to advocate for BASW’s position in the UK Parliament. Through this work, we were invited to give oral evidence to the Health and Care Bill Committee, which is where witnesses are questions by a panel of MPs about their thoughts on the content of the Bill. BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska, appeared in front of the panel on behalf of the panel and the transcript of the session is available to read.
Next week will be another busy week, with the Health and Social Care Levy being debated, and the final evidence session of the APPG inquiry into integration. And who knows what the Government will announce at any moment?!