Budget 2018: Sector response

October 30, 2018

The sector has responded to Philip Hammond's Budget 2018, after he announced an additional £650m for social care for 2019/20.

Regarding social care, the Chancellor said, 'We will shortly publish our Green Paper on the future of social care, setting out the choices, some of them difficult, for making our social care system sustainable into the future. But I recognise the immediate pressures local authorities face in respect of social care.

'So today, building on the £240m for social care winter pressures announced earlier this month, I will make available a further £650m of grant funding for English authorities for 2019/20 and an additional £45m for the Disabled Facilities Grant in England in 2018/19.'

Leaders in the sector have since shared their views on the announcements in the Budget 2018.

Vic Rayner, Executive Director of National Care Forum (NCF)

'The Chancellor had a golden opportunity to meet the short-term funding requirements of the adult social care sector, which have been highlighted multiple times by both parliamentary bodies and sector specialists. The limited additional funding is, of course, welcome. However, it does nothing to address the immediate needs of the social care sector.

'The current budget response is both an inadequate recognition of the extraordinary pressure that services are under, and an unrealistic benchmark upon which to base future requirements. The status quo is not an option. It is key that that the government shows its commitment to finding a solution to the long-term funding for adult social care in the forthcoming green paper, and the announced 2019 Spending Review.'

Glen Garrod, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)

'It would seem that that era of austerity is indeed not at an end for older and disabled people.

'The detail in the Red Book reveals that the announced funding of £650m for social care is in fact a core of £410m which will need to be negotiated in local councils between children and adult services – both of which are hard pressed. Whilst this additional funding is indeed positive, it is both inadequate and temporary...The detail in the budget creates an invidious situation affecting older and disabled people locally. Their needs will be competing with those of different council departments, projected overspends, dwindling or exhausted reserves, supporting NHS needs and the needs of children and young people.

'It is however, welcome, that more money for the Disabilities Funding Grant is available, which is £10m more than the Chancellor announced in his speech. It is positive the Government is making more money available for social care overall. We must have a long-term funding solution for adult social care and the Government must bring these forward in the green paper urgently.'

George McNamara, Director of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age

'The Chancellor’s commitment for an additional £650m towards social care will only provide a short-lived breathing space to a social care system that is already on its knees.

'Older people are denied access to vital care and are struggling on a daily basis. Tragically this will continue until the Government commits to ending the cuts to social care and delivers the money needed to transform for the long-term.

'We urge the Government to address the vital need for a fully-funded system. We believe this can be achieved by introducing free personal care in England, ensuring many older people are able to get the care and support they need to live independent lives.'

Dr Rhidian Hughes, Chief Executive of Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) 

'Today’s budget takes us a small step forward. But overall the investment announced by the Chancellor is short-sighted. It fails to acknowledge the risks facing a crucial, but woefully under-funded, social care sector delivering support for millions of older and disabled people every day. It is disappointing that the people who rely on essential care services, that enable them to live the lives they choose, have again been overlooked in the nation’s spending plans. We need a long-term solution.'

Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA)

'The LGA’s Budget submission highlighted the severe funding pressures facing councils in 2019/20. The Chancellor has acted to help tackle some of this immediate funding crisis with £650m for social care which provides a financial boost for some of our local public services.

'While this funding will ease some of the immediate financial pressure facing councils and our local services, it is clear that this cannot be a one-off. Today’s funding is a start, but the real test will come in the Spending Review next year.

'Local government in England continues to face significant funding gaps and rising demand for adult social care, children’s services and homelessness support will continue to threaten other services our communities rely on, like running libraries, cleaning streets and maintaining park spaces. Councils also continue to face huge uncertainty about how they will pay for local services into the next decade and beyond.

'Investing in local government is good for the nation’s prosperity, economic growth and the overall health and wellbeing of the nation. We now look forward to working with the Government to ensure the forthcoming Spending Review delivers a truly sustainable funding settlement for local government, and its adult social care Green Paper puts social care on a firmer, long-term financial footing for the people who depend on care and support.'

The Chancellor's full speech can be read on the GOV.UK website.

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