Council tax rise considered for social care

Last month the social care sector held its breath ahead of the Autumn Statement as many felt sure the Government could not ignore the pleas for financial intervention.

Despite significant lobbying from influential members of the sector, the Statement made no mention of social care. In response, the United Kingdom Homecare Association’s Chief Executive, Bridget Warr CBE, said: The absence of reference to funding social care services in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement is exasperating for everyone who supports older and disabled people.

“The amassed evidence from providers, commissioners, sector analysts and colleagues in the health service has presented a consistent picture of a sector under extreme pressure, which should it fail, will let down citizens who rely on state-funded support.

“We urge Government to take immediate action to bring forward funding to maintain the immediate viability of social care services.”

As the pressure for increased funding grows, the national media have this week reported that the Government is considering allowing councils to increase the 2% care precept to help solve the care crisis.

Labour accused the Government of unfairly moving the funding crisis on to council taxpayers and demanded to know why ministers had not fought harder to get vital funding in the Autumn Statement.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said there were “serious problems about how money raised for the precept reaches the front line” and warned that some companies would go bankrupt unless matters improved.

The provisional local government finance settlement for 2017/18 is due to be announced by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid before the end of this month.