Laura Sharman 06 March 2017

MPs say chancellor should close social care funding gap up to 2020

MPs say chancellor should close social care funding gap up to 2020 image

The Government has been urged to bring forward £1.5bn from the Better Care Fund to close the funding gap in social care by MPs.

A report from the Communities and Local Government (CLG) said the money would close the funding gap for 2017-18, but a long-term review of social care is required.

The Committee said there were concerns about how much the social care precept could raise, but it added that if councils have not raised the maximum amount available to them, this would weaken the argument against a lack of government funding.

Clive Betts, chair of the CLG Committee, said: ‘The Government should bring forward £1.5bn from the improved Better Care Fund to help social care services meet the immediate pressures over the next year and then commit to closing the funding gap up to 2020.

‘While short-term action is vital, there are funding, structural, and other problems facing the social care sector in the medium- and long-term which we shall be addressing in our final report published next month.’

Margaret Willcox, president elect of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: 'With care homes closing, councils projecting in-year overspends of almost £450m, services are in significant and increasing jeopardy.

'The Government needs to use next week’s Budget to announce genuine new money to fund social care, otherwise the worrying consequences for older and disabled people, their families and carers, will continue.'

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