National taxation key to solving adult social care

The Local Government Association has revealed that 89 per cent of councils believe that national taxation should be part of the financial solution to the adult social care crisis.

Released ahead of the upcoming LGA Annual Conference in Birmingham, the association polled the leaders and adult social care cabinet members in all 152 councils providing social care in England and revealed that 96 per cent believe there is a major national funding problem in adult social care.

Warning that extra council tax income cannot be expected to plug growing funding gaps and protect adult social care services from further cutbacks, the LGA and its poll have suggested that increasing council tax is not part of the solution, with 70 per cent taking this view.

Instead, 87 per cent of people surveyed in a separate LGA poll believe that councils should be given more government funding to tackle the funding gap in the sector. Off the back of this, the LGA will publish its own Green Paper on adult social care later in July, complete with consultation and engagement, to kick-start an urgently-needed debate about how as a society we should fund this vital service in the future.

Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Our surveys show beyond doubt that the overwhelming majority of both our national politicians, and the people they represent, will settle for nothing less than additional funding from government to help solve the social care funding crisis.

“Properly funding social care and prevention services not only helps councils with overly-stretched budgets protect care services for the benefit of those requiring them, it also helps to prevent further crises in the NHS and saves the health service a fortune by keeping people safe and well in their own homes, reducing the number of hospital admissions.

“We need an amnesty on the politics of care funding reform. All options should be on the table to solve the funding crisis in adult social care and enable councils to meet growing demand with high quality and safe services that help people live their lives. The longer we wait for long-term reforms, the more likely we will see an unresolvable year-round problem in A&E.”