William Eichler 04 December 2019

Major parties ‘fall short’ on social care funding commitments

None of the three major parties have pledged enough in social care funding to fix the ongoing crisis in care provision, a health think tank has concluded.

The Health Foundation calculates that stabilising the current social care system by addressing demand pressures and increasing staff pay in line with the NHS would cost £4.7bn by 2023/24.

They also estimate that restoring access to 2010/11 levels of service would require around £8.1bn extra investment by 2023/24 on top of this £4.7bn cost.

The Conservative Party manifesto has pledged an extra £1.1bn for the social care system, while the Liberal Democrats have promised to invest £2.9bn.

Both of these fall short of the £12.8bn required to return social care investment to 2010/11 levels.

Labour have committed to spending £4.2bn on the social care system and £6.9bn on free personal care, which brings their total pledge up to £11.1bn.

‘All three parties have pledged some funding towards addressing the current crisis in social care and preventing further deterioration of services, over and above current plans for 2023/24,’ said Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation.

‘However, none have pledged enough to meet growing levels of demand and improve pay for social care staff.

‘While all the parties have agreed in principle that there is an urgent need to reform social care to address the fundamental unfairness of the current system, only Labour has set out any concrete proposals for reform, pledging free personal care.

‘But our calculations show that none of the parties have pledged enough funding to restore levels of access to 2010/11 levels, prior to cuts to services.’

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