More than 80% of MPs say adult social care funding needs to be increased

By agency reporter
August 27, 2018

The overwhelming majority of MPs and peers agree that additional funding should go to councils’ adult social care budgets to tackle the funding crisis facing services caring for older and disabled people, a new poll shows.

The survey carried out by ComRes and commissioned by the Local Government Association shows that the overwhelming majority of MPs (84 per cent) and peers (76 per cent) agree that funding for adult social care should increase.

Following the delay to the Government’s adult social care green paper, the LGA has launched its own nationwide consultation to kick-start a desperately-needed debate on how to pay for adult social care and rescue the services caring for older and disabled people from collapse.

The LGA says "Social care and support is about helping people to live the lives they want to lead. It binds our communities, supports our NHS and makes an essential contribution to our national economy. However, years of significant underfunding of councils, coupled with rising demand and costs for care and support, have combined to push adult social care services to breaking point."

The LGA estimates that adult social care services face a £3.5 billion funding gap by 2025, just to maintain existing standards of care, while latest figures show that councils in England receive 1.8 million new requests for adult social care a year – the equivalent of nearly 5,000 a day.

Increased spend on adult social care – which now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of total council budgets - is threatening the future of other vital council services, such as parks, leisure centres and libraries, which help to keep people well and from needing care and support and hospital treatment.

The new poll information shows that there is far reaching cross-party support for additional funding for adult social care and the LGA is urging the Government to act now before it is too late.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Councils, care workers, health professionals and now even MPs and peers agree that social care funding to councils must be increased.

“Work to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care and support has been kicked into the long grass by successive governments for the past two decades and has brought these services to breaking point.

“The Government cannot duck this issue any longer. It must make genuinely new resources available urgently to plug the short-term funding gap of £3.5 billion as well as set out its plans to secure the longer-term future.

“The LGA’s green paper is the start of a nationwide public debate about the future of care for all adults, and how best to support their wellbeing, and we encourage as many people and organisations – including MPs and peers – to have their say on how we pay for it and the responsibilities of citizens, families and communities.

Data was weighted by party and region to be representative of the House of Commons and by party to be representative House of Lords.

Recent surveys  by the LGA showed that 96 per cent of councils and lead members believe there is a major funding problem with adult social care; 89 per cent said taxation must be part of the long-term solution to funding it, and that 87 per cent of the public support more funding to plug the significant funding gap in the sector.

* Local Government Association https://www.local.gov.uk/

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