Local councils are struggling to cover the costs of social care for their ever-ageing populations, causing public services such as road maintenance, rubbish collection and housing to take a major budget-cut blow. With health secretary Jeremy Hunt capping individual costs for social care, it is likely that local councils will have to pick up the slack. Hunt has promised to support local councils through paying for social care, but many remain sceptical as to where the money will come from.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has predicted that by 2035, the cost of social care could account for half of all taxes raised by local councils. Currently, town halls are set to lose their general grant funding by 2020, which means that they will be dependent on council tax and local businesses in order to fund public services. In order to counteract this dependency, the IFS has suggested that the government issue ring-fence grants (grants that can only be used for a specific purpose, such as to pay for social care services) so that councils can top up their tax revenues. However, one major problem with this system is that councils may cut back on the amount of council tax money they allocate to social care because they will depend on the government grant instead, meaning that they’ll continue to provide inadequate social care regardless.
According to the IFS, the best way to ensure ring-fence grants are used solely for social care is for the government to fund social care services entirely by using a central government grant. This will enable local councils to use their council tax funds to support other public services.
At the moment though, the Tory Government has yet to announce the full extent of their social care plans and so it is unclear as to where the money to pay for such services will be coming from and to what extent local councils will be responsible for footing the social care bill. With the green paper on social care due to be announced this summer, we can only hope that there is a solid plan in place for ensuring that the elderly are well taken care of without causing devastating strain on local councils and the other public services they have to provide.
How can Better Healthcare Services help?
Better Healthcare Services can fill the gap caused by uncertainties surrounding local social care. Our healthcare at home services are comprehensive, flexible and affordable. Whether you require short daily visits or more permanent live-in care, we can help you arrange a perfectly tailored package that works for you. Our dedicated carers pride themselves on providing you with the care that you need in a way that allows you to continue with your independent lifestyle.
For more information on how we can provide you with quality help at home, call us today on 020 7929 2975. Alternatively, contact your local Better Healthcare Service office: