This blog post was contributed by Rob Henderson, Public Affairs Manager at Age UK.
This was a challenging budget for the Chancellor to deliver. Over five months ago, the snap general election changed the political landscape beyond recognition: a very slim majority, a difficult economic outlook and with the shadow of Brexit over everything the government had little wiggle room.
For Age UK the focus for radical policy improvement and investment needed to be on the social care system. The Prime Minister made the case for social care reform in the Conservative party’s manifesto, making a commitment to ‘act where others have failed to lead’ and the Government’s recent announcement that it will release a Green Paper on social care in summer 2018 is welcome news. However, this budget was an opportunity to plug the gap that exists in the system right now, not kick the issue into the long grass. Continue reading “Budget 2017”
As a Surrey resident working for Age UK, I felt quite confused and conflicted about how to vote in the prospective local referendum on a 15% council tax rise. On one hand, I really wasn’t happy about a huge hike in my bills but on the other hand through my work I am acutely aware of the enormous funding gap that has opened up in recent years between social care budgets and the growing number of people needing care and support. I felt grudgingly supportive of the leader of Surrey Council, David Hodge’s radical stance but not desperately keen on his solution.
So the mood music in advance ofthe Budget was roughly correct: we have an emergency injection of funds to keep the social care show on the road plus a longer term Government review, in the form of a Green Paper, to develop a new sustainable funding approach. Whether the rescue package will turn out to be enough to persuade providers who are wobbling to stay in the market, or allow councils to do a better job at meeting rising demand over the next couple of years than they have over the last few remains however to be seen. Continue reading “Social Care and Budget 2017”