Adult social care services have experienced major reductions in spending. This is increasingly having severe consequences on the frontline, including rising numbers of older people going without the care and support they need.
These pressures are likely to increase as demand for care grows ahead of available funding, resulting in a £2.7 billion funding gap by 2020/21 and £9.5 billion by 2030/31. Government must now come up with a long-term sustainable solution to this funding gap. Any solution must be:
- Politically feasible.
Our new report with the IPPR, the progressive policy think tank, shows that changes to benefits are unlikely to raise enough money to fill the funding gap in isolation. They are also are more likely to be regressive. And changes to benefits often garner less political support than tax rises (for example National Insurance and Inheritance Tax) which generally raise more money and are more progressive.
An increase in the National Insurance employer main rate by 1 per cent would immediately raise £5billion.
However, this does not mean any of these options, including a change in National Insurance are an easy sell. The public are sceptical that the funding gap in social care should be filled by increases in taxes or a reduction in benefits.
Government must overcome this scepticism – resetting the terms of the debate – if it is to deliver the funding and reform our social care system so desperately needs.