Social care will continue to suffer cutbacks after the government failed to provide extra funding in its final Local Government Finance Settlement, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.
Chairman of the LGA Lord Porter said the final settlement published yesterday failed to provide enough money to prevent further cuts to services, including social care, despite councils being able to raise council tax by up to 5%.
Lord Porter said: “Extra council tax income will not bring in anywhere near enough money to prevent the need for continued cutbacks to local services, including social care.
“Almost all social care councils have found it impossible to turn down the chance to raise money for social care through council tax rises in 2017/18. But increasing council tax raises different amounts of money for social care in different parts of the country and the extra income raised will be swallowed up by the cost to councils of paying for the government’s National Living Wage.”
The LGA has warned of a £2.6bn shortfall in social care funding by 2020 (see Tax rises will not cover £2.6bn social care funding gap, LGA warns).
Lord Porter added: “Councils, the NHS, charities and care providers remain united around the desperate need for new government funding for social care. By continuing to ignore these warnings, social care remains in crisis and councils and the NHS continue to be pushed to the financial brink.
“The government cannot ignore this any longer. Genuinely new government money for social care is urgently needed. Without this, our most vulnerable continue to face an ever uncertain future where they might no longer receive the dignified care and support they deserve, such as help getting dressed or getting out and about, which is crucial to their independence and wellbeing.”