The Local Government Association (LGA) has called upon the government’s Green Paper to make the case for national tax rises to pay for social care.
The call from the LGA came with the publication of its final report on its consultation on the government’s Green Paper, which is expected next month.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “The government must use its upcoming Green Paper to make a serious case for national tax rises, including either increases to Income Tax and/or National Insurance to provide long term sustainability for the vital social care services that are central to helping people to live fulfilling, independent lives.”
The report, which includes 14 recommendation for the government, follows more than 540 submissions to the consultation from across the general public, people who use services, councils and other interested and significant organisations.
VODG Chief Executive Dr Rhidian Hughes said: “The evidence for significant and sustainable reform of adult social care is overwhelming and today’s report from the LGA is a welcome contribution. We need central government leaders to work together, cross-party, to give the millions of older and disabled people who rely on essential services certainty about the care and support they are entitled to receive.”
Alex Khaldi, Partner and Head of Social Care Insights, Grant Thornton UK LLP, added: “We know that the sector will soon reach crisis point with the LGA estimating a funding gap of £3.6bn by 2025. Our recent analysis with Independent Age shows that there are no easy answers, with no single funding solution delivering the level of reform that the sector will need in ten years’ time. Funding options, such as increasing business rates or council tax, fall far short of addressing the social care funding gap. This means that taxes at a national level need to be considered if we are to have a hope of managing the increasing levels of demand.”
Cllr David Williams, County Councils Network spokesman for health and social care, said: “We believe that national taxation solution to social care should be considered, whether from National Insurance, general taxation, or from the recently-floated over 40s levy.
“At the same time, prevention must be at the heart of the reform agenda. If the government is to invest in the NHS without investing in adult social care and the preventative agenda – it will simply create a false economy. If reform is to be successful, local government must be part of the solution – with a strengthened role in the social care.”