Lack of social care funding details disappoints

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Independent Age has expressed disappointment and frustration at Chancellor Philip Hammond for not providing details on social care funding in his Spring Statement.

The Chancellor first announced the intention to produce a green paper during his Spring Budget in 2017. However, a series of delays has resulted in the document still awaiting publication.

On Wednesday (12 March), Hammond set out investments in infrastructure, technology, housing, skills, and clean growth. He also confirmed that the government would hold a Spending Review, setting out departmental budgets, if an EU exit deal is agreed.

Responding to the statement, George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said: ‘It’s desperately disappointing and frustrating that the government has yet again decided to kick the can of social care funding down the road. We are in the scandalous position where people are dying every day because they are not receiving the social care that meets their needs.

‘The government is focused on Brexit, and older people are suffering because social care is still being treated as a Cinderella service, not getting the care and attention it needs. The government’s long-term plan for the NHS will be ineffective until it addresses the crisis in social care funding, and part of resolving this crisis must be to release without further delay the long overdue social care green paper, for which we have been waiting for over two years.’

Stuart Gallimore, Association of Directors of Children’s Services president, said: ‘Despite more and more reports highlighting the increasing pressures facing local authorities, schools and other vital public services, today’s Spring Statement still leaves us wondering when austerity will actually ‘end’.’

Councillor Paul Carter, County Councils Network chairman, added it was important that the Spending Review ‘truly spells the end of austerity for local government’.