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NCF responds to Spring Budget 2024  

The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not-for-profit social care has responded to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget announced today which includes a further cut to National Insurance of 2p. 

Vic Rayner, CEO of NCF said: “This budget is yet another demonstration of this government undermining its pledges to deliver adult social care reform. We are struck that we have gone from a position where there was a dedicated Health and Social Care Levy to “fix social care once and for all” in 2021, to one where National Insurance has been cut by 4p in the space of a year. There is very little regard to the long-term sustainability of public services in this budget and it is therefore disappointing but not unexpected that there are no new announcements for adult social care. The cost of delivering these pre-election tax cuts will constrain public spending for several years.  

“It is clear the Chancellor has missed a key opportunity to address the huge funding pressures on local government and social care providers alike – these pressures are leading to multiple councils from across the political spectrum declaring bankruptcy due to the spiralling costs of social care. For the thousands of people who are waiting for assessments and care packages, this budget does nothing to improve the accessibility or availability of care. Additionally, for the organisations providing care and support, it does nothing to address the ongoing workforce and recruitment challenges.” 

We are calling for the government to take a long-term, strategic approach to investment in adult social care as a key part of the nation’s infrastructure. Adult social care is a public service which unlocks economic growth, enables people to return to work, reduces demand on other public services and leads to more social cohesion.  

We are also calling on everyone with a stake in a sustainable and fair social care system to Speak Up For Care.  

If we want to unlock the full potential of social care the government must: 

  1. Think social care first because it matters to us all – ensure that people care about social care like they do the NHS and understand its central role in joined up health and care for people. 
  2. Improve the pay, terms and conditions of the social care workforce – care work is intrinsically skilled and valuable and must be remunerated to reflect this. 
  3. Invest in People, Not Profit – adult social care should be for people, not profit. 
  4. Create an economic growth strategy for adult social care – social care is a large employer contributing £55.7bn to the English economy, making it an essential part of the national infrastructure. 
  5. Enshrine Rights, Fairness and Choice for people in a National Care Covenant – co-produce and set out clearly the mutual rights and responsibilities of citizens, families, communities and the state.  
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