The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Prosecuted for Being Too Poor

Feb 28, 2022

The following is an excerpt from Workers’ Fight, the newspaper of the revolutionary group active in Great Britain.

A shocking report has been published which exposes the consequence of the lousy social care system, which asks the elderly and vulnerable to meet payments for home helps, meals on wheels and vital help with basic needs.

"Of the total of at least 166,835 people who are in arrears on their social care payments, more than 78,000 have debt management procedures started against them by their authority for non-payment of social care charges," and what is more, 1,178 people have been taken to court by local authorities because they’re unable to pay for their own care—or that of family members.

So, they concluded that the "system isn’t working." A bit of an understatement. This care used to be provided according to need, free of charge, until Thatcher’s 1990 Community Care Act which allowed a “private industry” to develop and make money out of this provision. It was so obviously unjust and unsustainable that Scotland partly reversed this in 2002 and made personal care free for people aged 65 and over.

Extending free provision everywhere is going to take a fight, and it’s overdue.