An inquiry into the quality and financial sustainability of adult social care in England has been launched by the Communities and Local Government committee.
The inquiry will look at whether local authorities have sufficient funding to meet their statutory duties under the Care Act to assess and meet the needs of people requiring care and support.
The impact of the National Living Wage policy and the 2% council tax precept, which were announced in last year’s spending reviews, will also be assessed.
The National Living Wage policy, which introduced a compulsory wage floor of £7.20 for workers aged over 25, came into force on 1 April this year. Councils and care providers have warned that without adequate funding it is undeliverable. The Local Government Association said implementing the policy would cost councils an extra £1bn a year by 2020.
Similarly, sector leaders have warned that the council tax precept, which gives councils the opportunity to raise an additional 2% a year for adult social care, will not go far enough.
The inquiry will also look at the role of carers and look at alternative funding models for financing and providing care. It will cover all adult social care provided or commissioned by local authorities and not just the support given to elderly care users.
Clive Betts MP, the committee’s chair, said: “Adult social care provides a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable people in society but it is coming under increasing pressure as a result of growing demand and declining local authority budgets.
“Our inquiry will look at the financial sustainability of this care and support to see what can be done to allow councils to continue to meet their legal obligations for future generations.”
Written evidence should be submitted via the committee’s website by Friday 19 August. Local authorities, care providers and government ministers will be invited to give evidence at public sessions. The CLG committee is a scrutiny committee and monitors the policy, administration and spending of the Department for Communities and Local Government.