Experts slam ‘hugely disappointing’ budget inaction on social care crisis

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Care providers and thinktanks have described the lack of additional funding for social care in the 2020 budget as “hugely disappointing”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement on Wednesday made no mention of extra money for social care.

The Independent Care Group (ICG) accused the government of “failing to get social care done”, while Age UK director Caroline Abrahams said the budget did “nothing to alleviate our anxiety”.

It comes as MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee launched an inquiry on Tuesday to establish how much money the social care sector needs to avoid shortages.

“Social care is in crisis”

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, said a strong social care system was needed to help older people who are the most vulnerable to Covid-19. He stressed that:

social care is in crisis.

There is an £8 billion funding gap since 2010.

Instead of the Government presenting a social care plan which the part-time Prime Minister told us was ready long ago, they are asking the rest of us for ideas.

The new government’s Queen’s speech promised an additional £1bn would be made available for social care every year of the new parliament. And in January, Boris Johnson vowed to produce a plan for solving the social care crisis within the next 12 months.

“Nothing is changing”

Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, said:

We are dismayed that social care did not get even a mention in today’s Budget, after the Government’s promise to deliver a solution.

Unpaid carers have been holding the system together for too long and they simply cannot afford to keep waiting for this promised plan.

Critics are urging the government to make reform an immediate priority, more than two years after promises of a social care green paper.

Mike Padgham, chairman of the ICG, which represents independent care providers in York and North Yorkshire, said the budget was an “opportunity missed” to tackle the “ongoing crisis” in social care. He said:

Some 1.5m people aren’t getting the care they need and we have been promised measures now for years, but nothing is changing.

There is little doubt that coronavirus is going to hit us hard and will exacerbate problems already being felt in the sector, but there was no recognition of that today.

“Hugely disappointing”

Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at The King’s Fund thinktank, said adult social care remains a “pressing and overlooked” issue. He added:

It is hugely disappointing that this Budget does not include an emergency cash injection to help local government to address social care needs beyond coronavirus.

Jenny Coles, vice president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:

we are frustrated that the Chancellor focused more on broadband, trains and freezes to beer duty in his speech than on children

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