In response to today’s statement from the Department of Communities and Local Government on council spending for 2015/16, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive at Independent Age, said:

"Social care is the single largest expense for most councils so an average 1.8% cut in council funding is in effect a cut in essential services for elderly and disabled people. This cut is not just cruel and unfair but also counter-productive - lack of social care services is already contributing to NHS pressures in hospitals and A&E departments. It is a nonsense that just weeks after the NHS received an emergency rescue package, the very services older people rely on most to prevent avoidable admissions to hospital are being stripped back to the bone. 2015 looks set to be one of the most challenging years for councils in recent memory as they cope with the pressure of introducing the ambitious new Care Act at the same time they face further cuts to their adult care budgets."

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