Adult social care will receive an extra £2bn a year by 2014-15 to help the sector withstand massive cuts to council funding announced today by Chancellor George Osborne in the spending review.
Osborne said that councils would face cuts of 7% a year over the next four years.
But he said adult social care would receive an extra grant rising to £1bn a year by 2014-15, plus a further £1bn in annual funding from the NHS. The latter would support joint working between health and social care, the chancellor said.
The £2bn is designed to compensate adult care for the overall cuts in council funding.
Osborne also announced that Supporting People would receive £6bn over the next four years, which amounts to a slight reduction on current annual funding of £1.6bn a year.
There will also be additional cuts of £7bn a year to welfare spending, in addition to £11bn a year announced in the Budget in June. This will include putting a one-year limit on the amount of time that people can spend on employment and support allowance – the replacement for incapacity benefit – preparing to rejoin the workforce.
He also announced plans to align mobility and care payments to disability living allowance claimants in residential care, reducing costs.
Overall, the vast majority of local government funds will no longer be ring fenced from 2011 onwards, with the exception of schools and public health funding.
Osborne also announced plans to expand personal budgets for adults and disabled children.
Targets for what proportion of adult social care should be delivered by independent providers such as such as the voluntary and community sectors and social and private enterprises are also likely to be introduced, the Chancellor said.
“Any cuts will put pressure not only on the already stretched local authority social work teams, but also on the voluntary and private sector providers of social work services” said Maurice Bates, interim co-chair of The College of Social Work. “Following today’s CSR announcement The College Interim Board will further examine ways in which The College can support the Social Work profession across the board; making delivery of appropriate, timely and well directed services a possibility in a very difficult financial climate.” added Professor Corinne May–Chahal, interim co-chair of The College of Social Work.
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