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Where does Social Care stand today? – Comment from Mike Wedgeworth

The Chancellor says spending on Social care will increase in real terms by 2020.

But the chairman of the Local Government Association says there will be a funding gap of £700 million.

Presumably they can’t both be right.

Certainly, allowing councils to raise Council Tax by 2%, specifically for social care, and the extra £1.5 billion for the Better Care Fund will help, but the big question is, will it be anything like enough?

We all know about the pressures on both the NHS and social care of older people living longer with long-term conditions.  

The NHS settlement must be good news, especially since it is to be ‘front-loaded’. But if some of it has to go on covering the gap in social care, it may not be so good after all……to say nothing of the obligation on the NHS to make efficiency savings of £22 billion, which many say will be impossible.

The next days and weeks will throw more light on what it all means. How much will the 2% increase in council tax deliver? What will be the net effect of allowing councils to keep business rates as government grant is withdrawn? And what will this mean for example, to owners of many care homes in Lancashire who are about to close them  because they can’t make ends meet?

We shall see.

– Mike Wedgeworth – Interim Chairman

 

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