March 13, 2020 4.16 pm This story is over 18 months old

Local Democracy Weekly: What about social care, Chancellor?

No mention of social care in the budget

In the Chancellor’s red box on Wednesday were a raft of measures which pleased council leaders across Lincolnshire. But, plans for adult social care seemed to get lost in the paperwork.

Among the shortlist was money for potholes, an emergency package to tackle Coronavirus and investment for flood defences.

But, perhaps the most pressing issue for local authorities is how adult care is funded in the future.

Not a meeting goes by among senior county councillors without the topic being brought up.

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It was hoped that Rishi Sunak would address the issue during his speech.

The care of older and vulnerable people is one of the biggest responsibilities of local councils.

County council leader, Martin Hill, has long called for a solution to future funding in the care sector as it continues to put pressure on authority budgets.

Adult care is one of local council’s biggest responsibilities. Picture: Stock.

But the government did not address the wider matter in its budget, something which Julie Ogley, president of the association of director of adult social services, said was disappointing.

“It is welcome that the government has announced a £5 billion fund that recognises the important role that local government, including social care, as well as the NHS and the wider public sector are playing in responding to the Covid-19 outbreak,” she said.

“We are however disappointed that the government has chosen not to address wider pressures on adult social care in the budget.

“The previously announced funding for 2020/21 is not enough to place the sector on a sustainable footing in the short-term.”

Currently, the government allows local authorities to increase the precept on council tax rates in order to fund social care.

The county council has backed a 2% increase on the adult social care precept to fund the service for the next financial year.

But the care sector has long been overlooked by successive governments. Now is the time to sort it.

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