Government funding for English councils over the next three years is now worth £500m less than was originally intended, due to mounting inflation, the Local Government Association’s leader said yesterday.
LGA chair Margaret Eaton told the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Liverpool the funding for 2008-11 – worth around £76bn in total – had been eroded by price rises. The government’s measure of inflation reached 5.2% last month.
She told the annual gathering of senior council officers, lead councillors and sector leaders in social care that this came at a point when adult social care budgets were already under significant strain due to demographic pressures.
The local government settlement, announced in last year’s comprehensive spending review, was designed to boost council budgets by 1% a year in real terms. At the time, the LGA and others considered this figure to be inadequate.
She said the funding situation would force councils to be “crystal clear” about their social care priorities, and said that while these would vary from place to place, “effective safeguarding” across children’s and adults services would be “non-negotiable”.
Ahead of next year’s green paper on adult care funding, Eaton said the current system was “unfair, unclear and under-funded”, and vowed the LGA would “continue to argue loudly for positive change”.