The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) represents leading not for profit disability organisations. Responding to the Chancellor’s budget statement chief executive, Dr Rhidian Hughes said:
“We have reached a perfect storm. Demand is rising. Unmet need is rising.
Welfare reforms and cuts to services are leaving fewer and fewer people eligible for essential care and support services. Yet the Chancellor’s budget statement said nothing about these pressing matters. The absence of social care was an obvious and concerning void in the budget”.
Dr Hughes also said:
“The Care Act and the NHS Five Year Forward View champion prevention and the integration of health and social care. We know that investing in prevention saves money many times over as well as preventing need and costs being shunted to the NHS. Yet the budget fails to provide the right financial structures to support a very fragile sector. The chasm between the costs of delivering services and what commissioners are prepared to pay has grown so wide that providers are handing back contracts. These are the consequences of deliberately overlooking urgent and unmet need in the sector”.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The budget simply hasn’t delivered for people with dementia and their carers, many of whom rely on social care for essential support such as help with eating and dressing. With no mention of any new money for social care, and the threat of £3.5billion further spending cuts to come, the system remains in crisis.
“The allowed 2 per cent increase for council tax still leaves a chronic shortfall of at least £1.4 billion. Dark days are ahead as care providers pull out of the market and the NHS is engulfed by rising demand. As a result, since 2010, half a million of the most vulnerable people have been left to fend for themselves. The Chancellor must use the upcoming efficiency review to protect local government.”
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England commented:
“We commend the Chancellor for looking to the long term in aspects of his budget, but it is dangerous for him to ignore social care. The care sector employs more people than the Red Army and when the National Living Wage begins to bite it is all the more important that the sector is recognised, resourced and supported. More cuts to local authorities’ budgets only leaves those in receipt of care in a more fragile position, one that providers are no longer able to support”.
Enham Trust’s Director of Work, Quality and Governance – Mark Deal said, on Personal Independence Payments:
“Enham Trust fully recognises that all sections of society must share the burden of the reduction in Government spending, but we believe disabled people are taking a disproportionate level.
We support and even embrace the Government’s policy to support more disabled people into paid employment and work proactively with DWP and JCPs to make this a reality.
However, Enham Trust believes the proposed changes to the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) points system could mean that 200,000 disabled people suffer significant hardship as a consequence.
This is likely to result in:
- Increased costs to the NHS, due to poorer physical and mental health.
- Reduced likelihood of gaining employment.
These two factors will mean the net financial saving to the Exchequer is significantly reduced and the anxiety, stress and suffering faced by disabled people affected will be immeasurable.
We acknowledge 143 of the 152 councils are considering or have approved introducing the extra social care precept — a move that will raise £372m. The majority of this extra £372m will, however, be spent covering the cost of introducing the government’s National Living Wage.
We urgently ask the Government to reconsider the proposed change to the PIP points system.”