A mixed provision of care for the elderly must be maintained
in Fife and the SNP attempts to shut down the council homes must be stopped.
This was the message from Fife Labour this week as SNP councillors voted
through a report giving the Executive Director of Social Work the authority to “take
such further action as he considers appropriate to facilitate alternative
arrangement for the provision of the service provided by the councils care
Labour social work spokesperson Judy Hamilton said; “These
councillors have just past their responsibility to paid officials. I think they
think they won’t get the blame for closing the homes if they hide behind the officials
and get them to do the deed”.
Labour members on the committee put forward an alternative
proposal stating that the committee would investigate further options for
extending the capital programme to bring capital expenditure back into a ‘Homes
Replacement Fund’. They also proposed that the committee explore further
options to bring in match funding through a partnership with the Independent
Sector and they examine the ability of the council to establish a new Fife Care
Homes Trust which Labour claim will create access to further capital to enhance
the replacement care home fund.
Labour leader Alex Rowley said; “These councillors started
out four and half years ago stating they would replace the homes, then they
wanted to privatise them and now they simply want to relinquish their responsibility
and allow the homes to be closed. The SNP are on record as saying that care
workers cost too much and it is now clear their answer is care on the cheap
paying care worker the minimum wage in the private sector, which in turn will
drive down quality and standards.
“I asked the members of the committee what kind of society are
we turning into if we are saying that care workers are not worth more than the
minimum wage and I warned, every other worker should be aware for if they would
do this to care workers, no one is safe. It has been proven that if you drive
down wages and conditions, you also drive down quality. The SNP in Fife with the support of Liberal
councillors are succeeding where Thatcher failed in destroying public services
and attacking the wages and conditions of public workers. These Tartan Tories
cannot be allowed to destroy any more services. Most of us will get old and we don’t
know what services we may need but left to this lot there will not be much left”.