William Eichler 15 December 2016

New adult social care funding ‘spin not substance’

The Government’s funding increases for adult social care are ‘no-where near adequate’ and will not benefit the areas most in need, economists say.

The communities secretary Sajid Javid announced today councils will be allowed to increase council tax by 6% over the next two years in order to fund social care services.

However, new analysis conducted by economists at the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) has found raising the social care precept would only bring in more money per older person for authorities where the older population accounts for a smaller overall proportion.

For example, a 3% precept in Tower Hamlets raises £160 for every person over the age of 65, whereas in West Somerset it only brings in £53 per older person.

This is despite the fact the latter has the highest proportion of older people in the country and only 6% of the former’s population is over 65.

Ben Franklin, head of economics at ILC-UK said the Government’s announcement was about ‘spin not substance’.

‘Simply raising the precept will be no-where near adequate to meeting the care needs of the UK’s ageing population and will exacerbate the extreme post-code lottery that already exists for people trying to access care services,’ he explained.

‘The sector faces significant short and long term pressures including meeting the new living wage and supporting an increasing number of older people with complex care needs.

‘Yet, the level of funding does not reflect this. We urgently need a new settlement. The cracks cannot be papered over any longer.’

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