George McNamara, Alzheimer’s Society’s Head of Policy said:
‘Today’s budget was a missed opportunity to recognise the half a million people who are caring day and night for loved ones with dementia. Thousands of people living with the condition rely on their families to support them because they cannot get enough help from health and social care services.
‘The government should recognise the contribution of this army of unpaid carers and ensure they receive a decent Carer’s Allowance and access to vital support.’
Simon Bottery, Director of Policy at Independent Age, the older people’s charity, said:
“The decision on inheritance tax must raise serious questions about whether the government’s flagship social care policy – the £72,000 ‘cap’ on individual’s care costs – will go ahead in April 2016 as planned. This was intended to be paid for in part, by freezing inheritance tax thresholds. The Chancellor needs to clarify urgently whether the measure will proceed since local authorities are already planning for its implementation.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, representing UK independent care providers, said:
“ The news that people will be able to pass on homes worth a £1 million will be very welcomed by many older people and their families. However, unless the Government finalise what they are going to do about the funding of long-term care, many people’s assets will have been spent on their care before they die.”
Rob Webster, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation commented on the confirmation that the NHS will receive an extra £8 billion by 2020/21 :
“We welcome the formal commitment on increasing NHS funding by £8 billion by 2020/21, on top of the £2 billion delivered in this year’s budget. As highlighted in today’s budget document, the £8 billion needs to come in staged increases and we would emphasise this should reflect the bigger cost pressures expected in the first half of this Parliament. There is an opportunity for a multi-year funding deal to be aligned with planning in the NHS, for example around pricing, contracting and allocations. Through NHS Employers, we will look at the impact of the budget on our workforce.
“The additional funding will also need to account for investment in transformation, to support double-running and other costs that will be needed to move to new models of care. What cannot be forgotten though is the impact that social care cuts are having on the NHS. We need urgent action to look at how we address the gap in social care funding, currently estimated at £4 billion by 2020.
“We also look forward to continuing to work with the Treasury and the Department of Health in addressing these urgent questions as part of the spending review due in autumn. Through this process we hope to secure a sustainable settlement for health and care, which allows our members to get on with the bigger challenge of delivering change in service delivery, to better meet the needs of people in the 21st Century.”
Commenting on the announcement in today’s budget that higher income earners who live in social housing will have their rent raised to market value, Cllr Gary Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“Local authorities welcome the principle of any additional powers to set differential rent levels based on local circumstances and housing markets, but these must remain affordable for those in work but on a low income.
“Councils, like Housing Associations, should be able to retain the additional income generated from these rents to build new homes. This would have far greater benefits for local communities than the money going to the Treasury.
“If we are to see the homes desperately needed across the country built, councils must have a lead role in housebuilding and be allowed to reinvest in the homes and infrastructure that they are best placed to help deliver.
“The housing market isn’t black and white and it’s important this policy needs to be flexible enough to work in the complex and substantial range of housing markets that exist across the country. It must also be able to be tailored so as not to act as a disincentive to people being in work.
“Ultimately the devil will be in the detail and we are now asking government to work with us to make sure the details of the policy are workable and can have the greatest potential benefits to all of our communities.”
Daniel Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said:
“We welcome the Government’s commitment and confirmation of additional funding for the NHS.
“Patients and employers want to see improved and better seven-day services, and what we urgently need to consider is the workforce and pay and contract reform required to support this, especially for medical staff.
“In continuing with the work to reform terms and conditions of service in and across the NHS, we now look forward to the publication of reports and the observations from the pay review bodies. Following publication we will be urgently seeking to speak with our trade unions, to ensure we continue to work in partnership to progress pay reforms and service improvement across the NHS.
“Our discussions will now need to be set against the context of today’s announcement from the Government of continued public sector pay restraint and we recognise that these discussions are now likely to be more difficult.”