Social Care Funding: Time To End A National Scandal | Economic Affairs Committee
This report finds that publicly funded social care support is shrinking, as diminishing budgets have forced local authorities to limit the numbers of people who receive public funding. Funding is £700 million lower than 2010/11 in real terms, despite continuing increases in the numbers of people who need care.
The report recommends that the Government immediately spends £8 billion to restore social care to acceptable standards and then introduces free personal care over a period of five years.
Key conclusions and recommendations
- The Government must increase funding by £8 billion to restore levels of quality and access to those observed in 2009/10. This should be its top priority.
- The Government should introduce a basic entitlement to publicly funded personal care for individuals with substantial and critical levels of need. Accommodation costs and the costs of other help and support should still be incurred by the individual. The Health Foundation and the King’s Fund estimate this would cost £7 billion if introduced in 2020/21.
- To avoid catastrophic accommodation costs, the Government should also explore a cap on accommodation costs.
- The Government should adopt a staged approach to providing the additional funding recommended by this report. It should immediately invest £8 billion in adult social care, then introduce free personal care over the next five years. Free personal care should be available universally by 2025/26.
- Additional funding should be provided as a government grant, distributed directly to local authorities according to an appropriate national funding formula which takes into account differences between local authorities in demand for care and ability to raise funds from local taxation.
- Funding social care should be approached in the same way as any other funding pressure. We recommend that social care is funded largely from general taxation.
Full report: Social care funding: time to end a national scandal