In many ways, the erosion of the local welfare fund is the definition of austerity at its worst: the state should be stripped back and the poorest and ill must go cap in hand to survive. But how we respond to it can define the sort of society we want Britain to be: whether in a crisis there should be a safety net to help a family get by or whether, ultimately, we are all on our own — families with disabled children included.
So, this erosion of that local thing:
Just four years ago, Kirsty could have turned to what was known as the “social fund”, a central government-run system of low-cost loans and grants for families in financial emergencies. But then austerity arrived and in 2013 the coalition government scrapped all community care grants and crisis loans, replacing them with a patchwork of devolved programmes that cash-strapped local authorities had no obligation to fund. The Conservatives claim that councils are “best-placed to decide how to support local welfare needs”,
Ah, so, it’s not an erosion is it? It’s actually the establishment of a local scheme, or schemes.
Which they don’t appear to be doing all that well, which is interesting, isn’t it? Because the same people who complain about this are the people who insist that local councils should be housing us all aren’t they? You know, with all that competence they’re showing here?