MPs urge £1.5bn Budget boost for social care

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MPs have called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to provide £1.5bn this year to stem the social care crisis.

The pre-Budget report by the Communities and Local Government Committee says the Chancellor should to make the £1.5bn tranche of the Better Care Fund immediately available to plug a £1.3-1.9bn estimated funding shortfall.

Professor Martin Green OBE chief executive for Care England said:  “This influential Select Committee carried out extensive hearings and collated a lot of information. The conclusion of its report cannot be disputed; the government needs to stem the financial crisis in adult social care by an immediate cash injection followed by a longer term plan.  Care England calls upon the Treasury to use the Budget as a means to put social care on a proper safe footing and then continue to work with the sector to implement the necessary reforms”.

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The report notes that councils’ core grant from central government has reduced since 2010 while social care budgets have faced increasing cost pressures, including a growing and ageing population, increasingly complex care needs and cost arising from the implementation of government policies, including the Care Act, the National Living Wage and Deprivation of Liberty Standards.

Professor Green added: “Expectations from citizens have risen. They experience health and social care as a continuum and the current financial challenges make the delivery of such expectations untenable. Government policy needs to shift to ensure that the system is fit for purpose and provides what citizens need and want.  At present the system is too crisis based as opposed to enabling. This in turn disempowers people to manage their own care. Combined with this, the demographic changes mean that the current system is unsustainable.  Tax payers are simply not getting value for money.”

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