Health & Social Services

The Progressive Unionist Party repudiates the values and ethos of the New Right which now permeate the social services and which have led to a contract culture amongst those responsible for the provision of health, education and social welfare services. The party demands a strengthening, not a weakening, of the Health Service. In particular we demand that patient care is based on medical prognosis and not made subject to profit motivation.

The party strongly opposes any lowering of health standards as a result of the implementation of Trust status and the "Americanisation" of the Health Service. We view with grave concern the unrepresentative nature and lack of accountability of the Trusts, which, we believe, are tearing apart the very fabric of the Health Service.

We acknowledge and support the many positive aspects of Community Care but, at the same time, insist that this be properly funded to enable professional standards of caring and support for both patients and carers.

The party calls for a review of all Social Security benefits and demands an end to the policies and strategies of the New Right which seek the erosion of the Welfare State.

In particular we call for:

  • Properly funded services directly governed by elected local authorities.
  • Services that are geared to facilitate community needs and not limited to the needs of stigmatised individuals,
  • Local community social work teams and Family Centres as the main base for social welfare activity
  • Social policies that are geared towards equipping families and individuals with the resources and information to enable them to cope with their own lives,
  • An end to managerial social work and the overthrow of the contract culture,
  • A revamping of the CSA,
  • An end to the Social Fund,
  • An increase in benefit for lone parents,
  • The abolition of VAT on fuel and other necessities of life.