The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services is seeking an urgent meeting with government over its claim that councils have no excuse to cut adult care services over the coming years.
Care services minister Paul Burstow repeated the claim at last week’s National Children and Adult Services Conference, despite last month’s comprehensive spending review including a 28% cut in government funding for councis from 2011-15.
Adass president Richard Jones said that he had heard that Burstow’s claims were based on the assumption that demographic pressures would increase the costs of maintaining adult care by 1.9% a year from 2011-15 – half of Adass’s estimate of 4%.
“[1.9% is] not a figure I recognise. We’ve been working on the basis of a 4% rise,” said Jones. “We are looking for an urgent meeting with them early [this] week to look at the underlying assumption behind the figures.”
Burstow had told the conference that cost pressures would not be as high as in previous years, as a result of the public sector pay freeze from 2011-13, and said that councils would be able to raise income through council tax and other means to compensate the government funding cut.
He also pointed to the £1bn a year in extra funding for the NHS to spend on social care – most of which will be transferred to councils – and the expectation, shared by Adass, that councils will make 3% efficiency savings each year from 2011-15.
A DH spokesperson said: “Adass’ social care funding predictions are based on projections of an average increase in demand from older people over the next 16 years. Our analysis of demographics for the spending review is based more accurately on the spending review period itself.”
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