Dan Peters 08 March 2017

Budget 2017: Hammond accused of doing 'bare minimum' to fund social care

Budget 2017: Hammond accused of doing bare minimum to fund social care image

Chancellor Philip Hammond has promised additional grant funding of £2bn over the next three years in an attempt to plug England’s social care budget gap.

Some £1bn of that pot will be made available in 2017/18 – but that is just half of the estimated £2bn funding gap for adult social care for the coming financial year.

Mr Hammond said the cash injection would allow local authorities to ‘act now to commission new packages’ and would form a bridge to tide councils over until more money is made available as part of the Better Care Fund later this parliament.

The chancellor admitted the social care system was ‘clearly under pressure’ after total real term cuts from 2010/11 to 2015/16 of £1.1bn.

Chief executive of older people’s charity Independent Age, Janet Morrison, said: ‘The Government has committed the bare minimum to fund social care. While it is, of course, welcome, no one should be under the illusion that it will do anything more than shore up a crumbling system.’

But Mr Hammond insisted the crisis facing social care was ‘not only about money’.

With just 24 local authorities responsible for more than half of all delayed discharges to social care, Mr Hammond said communities secretary Sajid Javid and health secretary Jeremy Hunt would announce ‘measures to identify and support authorities which are struggling, and to ensure more joined up working with the NHS’.

To support this £325m capital funding will be made available to ‘pioneering’ sustainability and transformation plans (STP), with a further multi-year capital investment programme to support implementation of ‘high-quality’ STPs to be announced in the autumn Budget.

Mr Hammond also announced a green paper would be published later this year, which would include options for financing a new long-term strategic approach to social care, but he added this would not include ‘exhuming Labour’s hated death tax’.

Earlier, at prime minister’s question time, Theresa May denied Surrey CC had received a ‘special deal that was not available to other councils’ after a leaked recording of council leader David Hodge suggested otherwise.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for a record of all one-to-one meetings between the Government and councils to be published.

But Ms May hit back: ‘If he’s looking to uncover a conspiracy I suggest he looks behind him.’

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Youth Support Worker

Essex County Council
£14597.0 - £19106.0 per month
Please note this is a part time contract - annualised hours 106 per year. Therefore the actual salary range is from £995.44 up to £1049.79 per annum. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Internal Audit

Kent County Council
Up to £97,000 + benefits
We now have an exciting opportunity to strengthen and shape our Audit function, as... Maidstone, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Director of Children’s Services

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
circa £120,000
This is an exceptional opportunity for someone who wants to make a real difference to the children, young people and families of our Borough. St Helens, Merseyside
Recuriter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Assistant Director, Social Care & Public Health Commissioning

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
c£71,000 to £89,000 per annum
Reporting to the Director of Strategic Commissioning you will lead Commissioning in the context of a developing Integrated Care System.  Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue