Care sector responds to Autumn Budget
The Chancellor has announced the Government's future plans in the Autumn Budget 2017. Here are responses from some of the key organisations in the social care sector.
“The Chancellor’s decision not to address the funding shortfall in social care within today’s budget is a disservice to the critical lifeline that social care represents every day to the millions of people who use services and those that care for them. While we welcome the short term injection in health funding, this will not directly address the needs of social care,” says Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum.
“The chancellor spoke today of the significant productivity challenge facing the UK economy, yet failed to take the opportunity to invest in a sector that employs over 1.5million workers. The opportunities that investment in technology, buildings and workforce skills would bring to the social care sector would be felt at both a local and national level,” she adds.
Chair of The Independent Care Group, Mike Padgham, says: "Today's budget once again contained absolutely nothing to tackle the ever-growing crisis in social care, despite the fact that the sector is crumbling. The extra funding for the NHS is obviously welcome but NHS care needs good social care support, otherwise it will suffer too. Why does social care remain invisible to the Government?”
Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, says: “With nearly a quarter of the population set to be over the age of 65 by 2030, making Britain ‘fit for the future’ must surely include setting out plans to meet the needs of our ageing population. The fact that the words ‘social care’ didn’t even merit a mention in the Chancellor’s budget speech is a stark omission.
“A country fit for the future must be fit for all. Government plans must also include measures such as building a housing stock that meets the needs of older people, accessible towns, cities and transport, increasing the proportion of older people able to access digital services, and supporting services that reduce the impact on loneliness.
“If we are to ensure that no one is left behind, as the Prime Minister promised when she formed the current Government, it is disappointing to see an opportunity missed to work towards the UK being the best place in the world to grow old.”
Margaret Willcox, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), says: “We are extremely disappointed that the Government has not addressed the need for extra funding for adult social care. This means that this winter and throughout next year we will continue to see more older and disabled people not getting the care and support – which they desperately need now.
“A lack of extra funding will also lead to an even greater toll being placed on the 6.5 million family members and other carers. By the end of this financial year, £6 billion will have been cut from councils’ adult social care budgets since 2010 - with need for our services growing all that time.
“The Government has committed to publishing the long-awaited Green Paper on social care next summer, but much more needs to be done to secure extra recurring money to address funding gaps, continuing service pressures and the stability of the care market. This is made more urgent when the National Living Wage will increase and less of the short-term extra funding announced in the spring will be available next year to help nearly two million people who rely on care and support, and whose care needs continue to grow.
“The Government needs to heed the warnings from a wide range of respected voices by taking immediate steps to bring forward the funding and reforms needed to ensure that older and disabled people, and the rising number of working age adults, can get the care and support they need now and each and every day of their lives.”