Mayor brands Government’s failure to address social care crisis “an insult to those struggling to keep system afloat”
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has hit out at the Government’s refusal to fund the social care system after ministers announced that instead of providing additional money to fund social care, they would urge councils to raise local taxes to fund the growing demand.
Tower Hamlets also looks likely to lose out as a result of a new one-off £240m social care grant which means Government will top slice £4.8m from the Borough’s New Home Bonus grant in 2017/18 to fund a new Adult Social Care grant of which Tower Hamlets will only get £1.5m. This means Tower Hamlets will actually be £3.3m worse off in 2017/18.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) estimates that nationally, between 2010 and 2015, £4.6bn has been cut from the adult social care budget.
Commenting on the Government’s proposal to allow councils to bring forward in 2017/18 up to 1% of the previously announced rise in council tax to fund Adults Social Care (the Adult Social Care precept), Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:
“This is a totally empty announcement from the Government and an insult to those struggling to keep the care system afloat. Not only are government failing to deal with the severity of the social care crisis, they are actually leaving boroughs such as Tower Hamlets millions of pounds worse off.
“What we wanted to see was the Government recognising the challenge and stepping up to the plate to fund social care properly. Instead, this announcement is nothing more than moving money around and trying to force councils to raise taxes.
“Social care is truly in crisis, we’ve got an ageing population, people living longer with more complex needs and councils facing millions of pounds in cuts.
“Caring for our vulnerable and older citizens shouldn’t be a political football. The Government should work with all political parties to find a long-term solution to this crisis, not chase headlines with empty plans which do nothing to solve the problem.”