As we know social care is one of the areas facing the prospect of deep cuts. The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that ‘virtually’ all councils in England and Wales will be forced to abandon home help for elderly and disabled people as a consequence of a £3bn funding shortfall!!!
There is genuine worry from many people about what cuts local councils will make, especially given that the King’s Fund, the leading experts in the field, maintain that a 3% increase in social care funding is needed just to keep up with demographic changes.
The Government hasn’t thought through the consequences of reducing the Local Government Settlement and the impact this will have on Council’s ability to provide the services local people rely on. Without the money required many disabled people simply won’t get the social care they need. I have happily joined the campaign by Scope to encourage councillors to write to the Government Minister on this issue. See my letter below and see also letter to press here re cuts to disability benefits.
Dear Mr Burstow,
As a Councillor I pride myself on standing up for my community and ensuring local people get value for money from their local council. I know my colleagues take the same view. The decisions I take as a Councillor are governed by the desire to make sure that the people in my area get the support and services they need and that local taxpayers' money is used efficiently and effectively.
That’s why I am writing to you about the 30% cut to local authority budgets announced in the autumn which will have far-reaching consequences for disabled people, particularly those who rely on social care services, in my area.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has already warned that ‘virtually all’ councils in England and Wales will be forced to abandon home help for elderly and disabled people due to the £3bn funding shortfall. What is more, cuts of this kind are completely out of step with the advice of the King’s Fund, which maintains that a 3% increase in social care funding is needed just to keep up with demographic changes.
While your announcement of two billion pounds of investment in social care is welcome, it is not enough.
Social care services are already facing a funding crisis, and your Government’s latest announcement will mean basic services will need to be rationed still further. As a Councillor I feel obliged to raise my concerns directly with you as Minister responsible for social care and urge you to ensure that Government takes action to reduce this funding gap. As I’m sure you’ll appreciate, I remain concerned that disabled people will be disproportionately affected by the spending cuts and the choices taken by central Government.
I am therefore keen to know what contingency plans the Government has made for cases where local authorities are genuinely unable to meet their statutory duties to fund local social care provision?
Yours Sincerely, Philip Booth