Commenting on the Comprehensive Spending Review and Autumn Statement, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:
“While we welcome additional money for the NHS and the state pension, when it comes to social care the Chancellor has proved himself short of money and ideas. If every council in England increases council tax by the full 2% to fund social care, this could raise only £500 million a year, just a fraction of the £2.9bn annual shortfall in adult social care budgets predicted by 2020. Councils would need the power to raise council tax by more than 10% to plug the social care funding gap.
“Nor, despite warnings that the NHS and social care are heavily interlinked, have we seen the kind of ambitious, strategic, long-term vision for social care that we have with the five year forward view for the NHS.
“We need the Government to lead an honest debate about the future of social care in this country, and how we deliver these vital services to growing numbers of older people on ever shrinking budgets. Otherwise, today's announcements are likely to mean more older people stuck in hospital beds, more care homes closures, more 15 minute care visits and increased rationing of help for older people to do basic things like getting dressed, washing or feeding themselves.
“We understand that there are no easy answers and only difficult choices for the Chancellor. But without anything beyond the measures announced today for a social care system in crisis, it feels like the Government are passing the buck to local authorities to both find the money and take the political hit of increasing taxes.”