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LGA responds to IFS research on social care spending

Cllr Linda Thomas, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, responded to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on social care spending by councils between 2009/10 and 2015/16

"This report reflects the historic and chronic underfunding of adult social care by successive governments which has forced councils to make tough decisions on their care budgets. Councils have protected spending on adult social care as much as possible, but significant pressures of an ageing population, inflation and the National Living Wage are piling pressure onto our social care system

"Councils are doing all they can to protect adult social care budgets and the £2 billion for adult social care in the Spring Budget is a significant step towards protecting the services caring for the most vulnerable in our communities over the next few years. However, short-term pressures remain and we still desperately need a long-term solution to tackling the funding crisis to help provide care and support for people to enable them to live more independent, fulfilled lives.

"It is impossible to plan for the long-term without long-term funding. No matter what additional help is given to adult social care, if local government funding overall remains under pressure, adult social care faces further savings as it is the biggest budget within councils.

"It is also not appropriate to use an outdated formula that both government and councils agree is no longer fit for purpose as a measure of need to spend. Councils are closest to their residents and will make spending decisions based on local need in the context of available resources.

"The Government's commitment in this year's Budget to publish a Green Paper which explores options for a long-term solution to reform and fully fund our care system is a key opportunity to establish how, as a society, we should best support people of all ages with care and support needs in our communities both now and in the future.

"For the Green Paper to be successful, local government leaders must play a central role so that any solutions are workable, affordable, and support the spirit and letter of the Care Act, which councils are fully committed to."

Related information:  One in ten councils have cut adult social care spending by more than a quarter

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