Fair. Adequate. Sustainable – Submission to Inquiry on Adult Social Care Funding

Cllr Adele Williams has made a submission to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry on long term funding of adult social care and used it as an opportunity to reiterate calls for a fair, adequate and sustainable system for funding adult social care services.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government select committee has launched an inquiry focusing on   how adult social care should be funded in the long-term and to understand how Covid-19 has impacted the sector. Fair, adequate and sustainable funding for adult social care is an issue Cllr Williams has been raising for a number of years and the pandemic has accelerated an existing problem, increasing demand faster than expected.  There is an urgent need for a more sustainable long term funding settlement for adult social care.

In submitting a response to the Inquiry Cllr Adele Williams highlighted the unfair nature of the current funding model on places like Nottingham, saying “The income that can be raised locally is lower where the levels of deprivation, and therefore need, are higher, meaning that this is not an adequate response  to the issue – but one which hits local taxpayers hard.”

The current approach by Government to fund social care has been to put on an additional 3% onto council tax, called the social care precept, solely to fund costs in that area. In Nottingham the Government’s additional 3% has increased council tax for each band in the following way:

Council
Tax Band
Government’s 3% social care precept £
A £36.17
B £42.19
C £48.22
D £54.25
E £66.31

Continuing in her submission, Cllr Williams said “A plan to resource social care adequately and sustainably is long overdue. Local taxation is not the answer and the current situation is not a fair or sufficient solution to meet the gap in funding that is widely acknowledged. I would support funding adult social care through general and progressive taxation whilst retaining the role of the local authority who are best placed to promote an asset and strengths based approached given the many and various intersections we have with citizens’ lives.“

It is  hoped that this inquiry will help produce a fair, sustainable and long term funding system for adult social care. The Government has repeatedly promised to produce a plan, including Boris Johnson on the day he became Prime Minister, but no such plan has materialised.