Rural councils have significant less funding to spend on social care than cities, a survey has revealed.
The report by The Salvation Army said rural councils with lower house prices and fewer businesses were less able to raise adequate funding for social care through business rates, council tax and other charges.
Lieut-Colonel Dean Pallant of The Salvation Army said: “Rural local authorities have been set up to fail with this flawed formula and it urgently needs revision.
“People are living longer and the population is ageing, the adult social care bill is rising but the local authority funding streams aren’t enough to cover the demand, especially in areas where there are not many businesses or people to tax.”
The report revealed that some areas raised up to five times more revenue for social care than others.
The Salvation Army said it paid an average £302 per person weekly subsidy to run its care homes, with local authorities in some areas not able to even cover staffing costs.
Lieut-Colonel Pallant added: “The government must prioritise its spending and properly fund adult social care. For years the rhetoric has been that councils can raise sufficient funds through local taxation to pay for older peoples’ care. This Salvation Army analysis proves that local authorities are being asked to achieve the impossible. Put simply; you can’t squeeze local businesses for more tax if your local businesses are struggling.
“The Salvation Army’s residential care homes see the impact of this funding flaw every day. We are caring for people who don’t have the savings to pay for their own care and stepping in where the council can’t pay for the care.”