"We are pleased that the Government has started to act on our call and found a way to help councils plug some of the social care funding gaps they face in the coming years."
LGA press release 8 March 2017
Responding to the Chancellor's Budget announcement that councils will receive £2 billion extra funding for social care over the next three years, Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
"The LGA has been leading efforts to highlight the significant pressures facing adult social care and secure desperately-needed new government funding for the system. We are pleased that the Government has started to act on our call and found a way to help councils plug some of the social care funding gaps they face in the coming years.
"Today's announcement of £2 billion for adult social care marks a significant step towards protecting the services caring for the most vulnerable in our communities over the next few years.
"Councils must have full flexibility over how they use this funding to ensure it helps people live independently in their communities and surrounded by their families and friends and to provide support to older people and those with mental health conditions, learning and physical disabilities. Adult social care is vital in its own right, as well as easing the pressure on the NHS. Councils want to give people the best possible chance of staying out of hospital and to get them home quickly if a hospital stay is necessary.
"With local government facing an overall funding gap of £5.8 billion by 2020, all councils will need to make continued cutbacks to local services, including social care, over the next few years. As helpful as today's announcement is, short-term pressures remain and the challenge of finding a long-term solution to the social care crisis is far from over.
"The Government's commitment to publishing a Green Paper to explore options for a long-term solution is recognition of this but councils are clear that it cannot end up being kicked into the long grass like other social care reviews, inquiries, commissions and their recommendations have been in the past decade. With councils facing further funding pressures and growing demand for support by the end of the decade, this is the last chance we have to get this right.
"For that to happen, local government leaders must play a fundamental part. All options must be on the table and it needs cross-party national support. This is the only way we will find a solution that ensures our future generations enjoy a care system which doesn't just help them out of bed and gets them washed and dressed but ensures they have dignified and fulfilling lives."