Council tax rise failing to plug care funding gaps

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has warned that the government’s decision to increase council tax by two per cent, has failed to plug the gap in care spend.

According to a survey of all 151 social care directors, there is still a shortfall of nearly £1 billion, with many councils being forced to reduce the services they offer. The majority of directors involved in the survey claimed that the funding shortfall could not be met by efficiency savings.

Furthermore, 39 per cent said the lack of funding would have to be covered by cuts to services, leading to day centres being closed, fewer hours of support at people’s homes and a reduction in the number people receiving the services.

Savings are also likely to be generated by increasing the fees charged to people with elderly care services most at risk.

Harold Bodmer, ADASS president, said: "We have been arguing for some time that adult social care needs to be given the same protection and investment as the NHS. Services are already being cut, and the outlook for future care is bleak.

"We are at a tipping point where social care is in jeopardy."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We know that protecting services while delivering the necessary efficiencies is challenging which is why we are working with local government to support councils to make savings."