People with disabilities and their families around the UK face a perfect storm of national austerity measures, local government bankruptcies, and rising living costs.

Disability campaigners claim that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s spring budget ‘ignores the needs of millions of people’. While tinkering with national insurance and tax, the Chancellor made no mention of disabled people or unpaid carers who provide vital support.

As a general election looms, leading Labour politicians, declaring ‘we are not the party of people on benefits’, are careful to avoid any commitments to restore welfare cuts and safeguard the needs of vulnerable dependents on social care services.

Meanwhile, in Haringey, our Labour Council announces ‘a rebel borough’ that has won the bid to become the London borough of culture for 2027 – while confirming a £700,000 cut in the libraries budget. The council proposes a ‘self-service’ model for libraries, replacing professional staff with volunteers and a ‘key-card’ access system that restricts access to toilet facilities – a vital requirement for many people with disabilities.

Ham & High: Mary Langan is concerned about the future of care for disabled peopleMary Langan is concerned about the future of care for disabled people (Image: Luke Patrick Dixon Photography)

As reported in the Ham&High, Haringey Council has already retreated from its flagship social care initiative at the former Osborne Grove care home in Tollington Park. Innovative plans for specialist care for elderly people with dementia and other care needs, that had been ‘co-produced’ by professionals and carers over a five-year period, have been put on hold and the future remains uncertain.

The End Social Care Disgrace Campaign, which co-ordinates campaigns seeking to promote a national social care system on a par with the NHS, has put forward detailed proposals to tackle the social care crisis, including plans to restore funding and fill job vacancies. But will Labour rise to this challenge?

It is evident to all that the current government is nearing its end and there is much anticipation of a new Labour government. But as disability rights campaigner Frances Ryan says: "If Labour cannot find its moral compass when it is almost 30 points ahead in the polls, it hardly will when it is buried under the weight of day-to-day government."

  • Mary Langan is chair of Haringey Severe and Complex Needs Families Group.