The Local Government Association have today published the results of their survey, which has found that 9 in 10 councils plans to use the 2% social care precept. The LGA estimate that the precept will raise £372 million, and have said that the money will largely be spent on dealing the cost of the National Living Wage.
Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, Vicky McDermott, has said:
“Councils have been placed into a difficult position affecting people’s lives. For many people in the social care system, they will only see their lives get worse, not better. In order to alleviate a degree of suffering, the government should bring forward the money earmarked to the Better Care Fund in the budget on March 16th”.
“The government continues to ask local councils to achieve the impossible while they ration central government funds for adult social care.
“What we are now seeing is that the overwhelming majority of local councils have accepted that doing nothing is not an option. With the government refusing to invest the additional monies into the Better Care Fund until 2017/2018, councils have quickly recognised that the only new money available to them to pay for social care costs is through the introduction of the precept.
“However we know that forcing councils to raise money through the precept means that in wealthier areas of the country, more money will be raised but in less affluent areas, where the need is higher, these councils will find it more difficult to raise the money they require.
“We must never forget that behind every statistic is a person who requires help and support with the most basic needs. There are now more than 400,000 fewer people receiving social care compared with 2010 and there are an additional 500,000 people who would have been eligible for social care until the eligibility criteria changed. These people haven’t just disappeared. They continue to need assistance with basic needs such as getting out of bed, washing and feeding themselves”.