The Women's Equality Party Conference notes with regret the impact of funding cuts on essential local services supporting disabled children, adults, and carers in the community. These cuts disproportionately affect women because a greater proportion of disabled people are women (54.4%), more family carers are women (72%), and most professionals working in the care sector are women (80% plus).
WE are concerned that funding cuts have been such over the last few years that local authorities have no more "efficiency" savings to make.D-F Consequently, critical frontline services are being withdrawn and/or reduced in many areas in the country. We are concerned that many of these services are irreplaceable in terms of support for vulnerable families and individuals as talented, experienced care professionals leave the care sector.
WE do not accept that cuts to social care save money in the long terms, since more families and individuals will inevitably reach a crisis point without early support and then require more expensive care and/or hospital admission. Simply put, it is a false economy.
WE believe that investing in social care promotes the independence and quality of life of disabled children and adults, enables family carers to pursue other goals, including employment opportunities, combats isolation, relieves pressure on health and emergency services, and promotes jobs that are predominately held by women.
This Party Conference calls upon the government to:
1. urgently consider evidence regarding the impact cuts to social care funding have had on disabled children, adults, family carers, and the care sector, from a gender perspective; and
2. develop a long-term gender-sensitive evidence-based strategy of investment in social care on the basis that it results in significant savings in other areas, not least the NHS.