The 2017 Budget Needs to Provide a Lifeline for Social Care and a Plan for the Future

Sarah's Personal Blog

The 2017 Budget Needs to Provide a Lifeline for Social Care and a Plan for the Future

As the Chancellor finalises his 2017 Budget he can no longer afford to ignore the stark warnings about the impact on individuals and the NHS from the crisis in adult social care.

Last year the Care Quality Commission described the fragility of the system as approaching a 'tipping point'. The situation looks set to worsen without an immediate lifeline and one that goes beyond the uneven and inadequate sticking plaster of a 3% increase in council tax precepts.

To put this in context, last year's uplift in the precept raised £382m but this was entirely swallowed by the £612m increase in costs from the National Living Wage.

Precepts also entrench inequality as those areas least able to raise money also have a greater proportion of residents who are fully dependent on their local authority to fund their social care.

The 2017 Budget needs to bring forward the so-called Better Care Fund already planned for later in the spending review and it needs to be 'new' money, not a smoke and mirrors device to transfer funding from an already overstretched NHS.