Anyone who hoped that the Budget and Spending Review would offer more support for social care, both for those drawing upon it and those working in it, has been disappointed. The Budget has nothing new directly for social care and simply repeats what was previously announced as part of the Health and Care Levy.
Liz Jones, Policy Director of the National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not-for-profit care providers says:
“The good news on the National Living Wage increase to £9.50 an hour is welcome as is the reduction in the Universal Credit taper. However, the key point missing from the Budget is how the National Living Wage increase is going to be funded for the social care workforce. This needs to be paid by the government as the majority of care is commissioned and paid for by the state. The rate social care employers can pay is determined by the funding their local authorities can afford to provide.
“The announcement of an extra £4.8bn for Local Government over the next three years could have offered a real opportunity to respond to the immediate and longer-term financial pressures in the sector and invest in the social care workforce to support people across our communities. However, the money falls short of what Local Government was asking for and none of it is ringfenced for social care.
“This Budget is a missed opportunity to recognise social care as a growing sector which already contributes £50.3bn per annum to the economy in England and the 1.5 million strong workforce making this happen. It also fails to build on the opportunities the Health and Care Levy could bring to support wide-ranging and ambitious reform if fairly shared between social care and health.”
The NCF has highlighted in recent weeks the reality of workforce pressures in social care and what this means for people in terms of being able to draw upon care and support. The Budget is silent on this and the recently announced £162.5m for recruitment and retention is a drop in the ocean of what is really needed to address the very serious workforce challenges we are seeing on the frontline of social care every day across the country, impacting hundreds of thousands of people.
Note to Editors:
- The National Care Forum brings together over 150 of the UK’s leading social care organisations, representing large numbers of care providers, offering thousands of services across the country, which are not for profit and always at the heart of community provision. Collectively, these organisations deliver more than £2 billion of social care support to more than 167,000 people in 9,200 settings. The NCF membership body collectively employs more than 95,500 colleagues.
- More information is available on the National Care Forum at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk. @NCFCareForum @vicrayner @NCF_Liz
- For enquiries, please contact Edna Petzen, [email protected]