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Call for tax rises to fund adult social care services

‘Effective care system vital for NHS’s survival’

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Council leaders have today called on the Government to make the case for tax rises to secure the future of adult social care services.

In response to its own social care green paper consultation published today, the Local Government Association said there would need to be increases in either income tax or National Insurance, or both.

The LGA launched the consultation on the future of adult social care and how to fund it in the summer when the Government’s own was delayed. The LGA received more than 540 submissions to the consultation from across the general public, people who use services, councils and countless other interested and significant organisations.

Cllr Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Work to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care has been kicked into the long grass by successive governments for the past two decades and has brought these vital services to breaking point. 

“That is why the LGA took action and launched its own adult social care green paper to start the desperately-needed debate around the future of care. The responses we have had make it clear beyond doubt that there is universal agreement that the current situation is unsustainable and is failing people on a daily basis.

“People have a right to live the life they want to lead and high quality adult social care and support plays an essential role in this. It is also vital to society. It strengthens communities, reduces pressures on the NHS, supports around 1.5 million jobs and contributes as much as £46 billion to the UK economy.”

The LGA is calling for an urgent investment to plug that gap, as well as tax rises to ensure future sustainability, plus a reversal to what it said were £600 million to the public health budget between 2015 and 2020.

It also wants a focus on prevention, community and primary health services in the upcoming NHS plan.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, welcomed the report. He said: “The social care crisis is an avoidable tragedy and the LGA is right to argue that it remains fundamentally underfunded and its prospects can only worsen unless the government acts.

“An effective and functional adult social care system is vital for the health, wellbeing and independence for so many and it is essential for our NHS to survive and thrive. Significant cuts have left at least 1.4 million people with unmet social care needs. Without a sustainable settlement for social care the whole system will continue to struggle to cope.”

Responding, a Department of Health and Social Care Spokesperson told OnMedica: “We are determined to make social care sustainable for the future. We have set out our principles for social care reform and will publish our proposals in a green paper later this year.”

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