Age UK response to Spring Budget and Chancellor's announcement of Green Paper
Published on 08 March 2017 04:00 PM
Age UK has responded to the Government's Spring Budget and announcement of a Social Care Green Paper.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said:
"Although we warmly support the Chancellor's announcement of a Social Care Green Paper in the autumn, this is tempered by some anxiety that today's emergency funding package, welcome though it is, may not be enough to keep the system going until a new, sustainable approach is put in place.'
"In recent months different experts have come up with a range of numbers for how much is needed to keep Social Care functioning over the next 3 years but they were all higher than the amount announced today. We also need to know more about where the additional £2 billion is coming from and whether it is genuinely ‘new money' or not.
"Our concern is that there could be big trouble ahead in some places for older people needing care and their families if providers continue to shut up shop and councils find it impossible to spread the jam any thinner to meet rising demand. A crucial question is whether what has been announced today will be enough to make care providers who were considering exiting the market think again, in the hope that a more sustainable approach is on the way. If it isn't then the Government's rescue package might well need to be followed by a further bail out for social care later this year or next and so for now we are viewing this £2 billion injection of funds as more of a down-payment than a final interim settlement.
"There's a pressing need to give social care real stability, and providers, commissioners and users more confidence. We will have to wait and see if the extra funding announced today does enough in these respects and the Government must be prepared to act fast if it does not but, more positively, a Green Paper is absolutely the right approach and Age UK looks forward to supporting its development."