ODPM warns on use of Supporting People money as it cuts funding

    Services for people with high personal care needs must be met
    through councils’ social services budgets not Supporting
    People funding, the government has warned, writes
    Shirley Kumar
    .

    Announcing a real terms seven per cent cut to the Supporting People
    budget over the next three years, officials from the Office of the
    Deputy Prime Ministers said services for client groups such as
    those with mental health problems or more severe learning
    difficulties were not appropriate for the funding.

    Councils will be expected to share £1.72bn in 2005/06,
    followed by £1.7bn in both 2006/07 and 2007/08. The 2004/5
    budget remained at the £1.8bn level reached in 2003/4,
    although councils are expected to make efficiency savings of 2.5
    per cent.

    How the money will be distributed for 2005/6 will be announced
    later this year, but councils deemed to be overspending in
    comparison with their neighbours could have their individual
    budgets slashed by as much 7.5 per cent in the first year
    alone.

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