13th December 2015
Social care for older people faces an acute funding crisis a leading think-tank has warned despite George Osborne’s plans to allow local authorities to raise council tax and increase such funding.
Thinktank the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK) has warned this concession will not be enough to meet the needs of a growing older population.
The research, supported by Age UK, says data from 326 local authorities shows those council areas in which most older people and unpaid carers live will be the ones to bring in the least money from George Osborne’s tax rise plan.
The two per cent increase was announced as part of a £3.5 billion investment package for adult social care in the Budget. Yet in its report ‘The End of Formal Adult Social Care’, the ILC-UK said it feels it is “highly unlikely” this will come to pass.
Ben Franklin, head of economics of an ageing society at ILC-UK, said: “The future for adult social care looks bleak. The social care settlement will be insufficient to meet the growing care needs of an ageing population and does little more than paper over the cracks which many of those who are in need of care are already falling through.”
The report says there will be a “polarisation” of care in future, with one section who can afford private formal care and another relying on family or other informal care.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK, said: “This report reinforces the consensus among experts that the measures the Government announced in the Spending Review will not be enough to arrest the further decline of social care in this country. As such it is a wake-up call for the public, women especially, because they make up most family carers. Over the last 20 years, the need to provide a system of childcare has been first recognised and then at least partially met, in order to enable more women to work and support decent family incomes. This is the wrong political and economic choice and it will hurt older people and their families.”