19 July 2012
The Social Care White Paper, published last week, provides a "good platform" for a reformed care system but does not tackle the current and growing funding crisis, the LGA has warned.
Among the long-awaited white paper's proposals are plans for older people to fund their care via loans from councils. These would be repaid – with interest – from the sale of their homes when they died.
Sir Merrick Cockell, LGA Chairman, said: "The white paper provides a good platform for a reformed social care system and there is much for councils to work on with Government through the draft Care and Support Bill.
"However, without tackling the fundamental funding issue it does not go far enough. There is an immediate crisis in social care which needs to be urgently addressed now.
"We now need to see a viable way forward on how a social care system that provides much-needed certainty, stability and is fit for purpose, can be properly funded. We are concerned that, under the proposed timetable, elderly and disabled people, as well as carers, could face at least a further five years of uncertainty."
He added: "The introduction of a cap on the maximum amount an individual would pay for their care will provide some peace of mind for our rapidly-ageing population, but for such a system to work it has to be universal.
"We do not think that the Government's suggestion of voluntary opting in or out is workable or provides people with clarity."
The LGA recently published a financial analysis warning of a projected £16.5 billion funding gap that would leave councils able to provide social care and waste services – and little else – by 2020.
Sir Merrick said: "Serious and real reform must include an honest appraisal of what a modern social care system costs and how it is to be funded. We are ready to play our part."
For more information and to have your say on social care in an LGA survey, please visit the LGA website Social Care campaign page:
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23 July 2012