Budget 2021: social care 'left out in cold'

By Martin Ford | 27 October 2021

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing accusations he has left social care ‘out in the cold’ following his Autumn Budget speech.

Mr Sunak failed to mention care services in the Commons set-piece, drawing criticism from the sector.

Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green said social care had been ‘left out in the cold’.

He added: ‘Winter is going to be very tough without robust social care sector to support the NHS.

‘Failure to support adult social care will result in unprecedented demand.’

The Treasury has confirmed as part of the Spending Review that councils with care responsibilities will continue to have the option of charging an adult social care precept of up to 1% per year on top of council tax, without holding a referendum.

The Government is relying heavily on the previously-announced Health and Social Care Levy to provide £5.4bn ‘to reform adult social care’.

Of the total, £3.6bn will be allocated to the cap on personal care costs and associated means test, in addition to ‘moving towards a fairer cost of care’ in local markets.

Another £1.7bn is intended to ‘improve the wider social care system’ including integration, and £500m to invest in care workforce skills, qualifications and wellbeing.

The Spending Review also commits to maintaining the Public Health Grant in real terms.

Chairman of the Local Government Association, Cllr James Jamieson, said: 'It is disappointing that the chancellor has not provided additional funding to address existing pressures on adult social care services and not increased public health funding.

'We remain concerned that the money allocated to social care from the Health and Care Levy will be insufficient to fund reforms. The potential rise in local government core spending power over the next three years will also be dependent on councils increasing council tax by 3% per annum.'

NHS England will benefit from a £5.9bn fund to reduce backlogs, including £2.3bn to set-up clinics in shopping centres, £1.5bn for surgical hubs and beds, and £2.1bn for IT.

In addition, its day-to-day budget is set to grow by 3.8% over the course of the Spending Review period.

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