Responding to an announcement by the Under-Secretary of State for Health, Jackie Doyle Price, that the Government will not be proceeding with plans to introduce a cap on care costs in 2020, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
“We continue to support a cap on care costs but the most urgent priority remains funding the system adequately now before implementing any wider reforms.
“We have supported the need for changes to the way people pay for their care, and it is important that thinking about how we can limit people’s exposure to potentially catastrophic care costs is part of the social care green paper.
“However, if the green paper is to succeed, it is vital that councils, which have responsibility for adult social care services, are at the heart of all discussions and given a key role in defining and shaping the future of social care.
“Fundamental changes to the way we fund adult social care are needed if we are to deliver a long-term sustainable system that works for everyone in society and meets their needs with safe and high-quality services. That is why cross-party consensus on a way forward is so important.
“Difficult, brave and possibly even controversial decision-making will be required to secure the long-term future of care and support, not just of older people, but adults of all ages, such as those with learning disabilities, and provide support for carers.
“We estimate adult social care faces an annual funding gap of £2.3 billion by 2020. It was hugely disappointing that the Chancellor found money for the NHS but nothing for adult social care in the Autumn Budget.
“The Government needs to put this right and inject genuinely new money into social care without delay in this month’s Local Government Finance Settlement.”