Thursday 14 May 2020 / 9:46 AM Local Government / Steve Reed

225,000 could lose care this year if Government breaks funding promise – Steve Reed

225,000 could lose care this year if Government breaks funding promise

New analysis reveals crippling cuts that will be forced on key frontline services including adult social care if the Government continues to back-track on their pledge to support councils in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.

Local authorities are by far the largest funder of adult social care in England. They now face a £10bn Coronavirus black hole, forcing cuts across the board, indicating a £3.5bn cut to adult social care this year.

New analysis, based on 2019/20 budget estimates, local authorities’ Coronavirus-related income losses, and adult social care budget data from the Kings Fund and Department for Health and Social Care shows:

  • A £10bn Coronavirus black hole for local authorities would mean £3.5bn cut to social care: On 2020/21 budgets 21% cuts across local authority budgets would mean £3.5bn to adult social care as well £2bn to children’s social care and £700m to public health.
  • Equivalent of 225,000 adult social care places severely reduced or gone altogether: A £3.5bn cut in local authority adult social care spending is the equivalent of 178,000 long-term adult social care places for over 65s, and 47,000 short-term places.
  • 40,000 places would go in the Midlands alone and more than 30,000 in each of the North West, South East and London.
  • Other key services are at risk of cuts if the Government fails to plug the funding gap, including libraries, children’s centres, leisure centres, public parks, road safety, road gritting and street lighting.

Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, Steve Reed MP said:

“Carers and our loved ones they care for are on the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus.

“Local authorities are the biggest funders of social care in England – so when the Government promised to stand behind councils through this crisis Labour supported them.

“But now Ministers are breaking that promise, leaving councils with a £10bn black hole forcing 21% cuts across the board. Unless the Government drops those plans the frontline heroes we’re cheering today will lose their jobs tomorrow and the equivalent of 225,000 frail and frightened older people and vulnerable adults will lose the support they rely on.

“That would be a catastrophe for social care, disastrous for those who lose support as providers are forced out of business, and would once again fail the very people putting their lives on the line to get us through this crisis.

“This government promised to do whatever it takes – if our loved ones see care taken away in their hour of need it will be devastating and unacceptable. The Government should change course, now.”