Papworth Trust has responded to claims made in the House of Commons that the Conservative Leader of Essex County Council has urged his own Prime Minister to recognise that the 2% social care precept will cover only half his council’s increased social care costs and bring forward his plans for additional funding.
The Shadow Care Minister Barbara Keeley suggested that Cllr David Finch encouraged the Conservative government to bring forward plans to add a further £1.5 billion into the Better Care Fund which is open to councils to apply to for increased funding for social care.
In the Comprehensive Spending Review on 25th November 2015, the Chancellor announced that the new monies for social care would not be available until 2017 but that councils could introduce a precept for social care from this spring.
Speaking after the Commons exchange Papworth Trust Director David Martin explained, “Introducing the social care precept is essential for vulnerable disabled and older people across Essex and the rest of the country. Whilst we recognise that the government’s fiscal solution to the care crisis will not deliver the required monies to adequately fund the social care system, it is also clear that doing nothing is not an option.
“The increased funding for the Better Care Fund (BCF) is welcomed but there remain questions over its governance and its ability to reach the majority of people who need support. It is important that councils such as Essex, which has a significant demand on its existing social care budget, receive a fair share of the increase in the BCF pot.
“Additionally, the government should listen to both those disabled and older people in the social care system and the Leaders of Local Authorities who are calling on the Prime Minister to put the extra £1.5 billion into the Better Care Fund immediately and not keep vulnerable people waiting even longer to receive life-changing care”.