Borrowed time to save social care for elderly argues national charity
Age UK has backed the need for urgent action and funding from central government following publication of a comprehensive report this week. As pressures on elderly social care increase due to more complexity care needs, the well-respected charity agrees with increasing amounts of evidence showing that health and social care services in the UK are struggling.
Earlier this week social care in Portsmouth came under the spotlight in the Labour Group’s response to the city council’s budget for 207/18 set at Full Council on Tuesday. The city faces huge challenges after cuts and lack of funding from central government to fund vital local social care services.
Portsmouth Labour proposed a fairer budget to protect social care, finding savings by reducing the cost of democracy and management overheads to invest in services for our loved ones.
The local Labour leader, Cllr Stephen Morgan said at the council debate “the government’s funding distribution continues to penalise Portsmouth, and that as far as the government is concerned, we are on our own.”
The government has said it will allow local authorities to raise council tax with the social care precept used only for adult social care.
Cllr Morgan added: “This is a drop in the ocean, a sticking plaster on a gaping wound. At the proposed 3% it brings in about £2m a year for this city, set against an overall package of budget reductions which will see spending cut this year and next year and the next year, with no end in sight”.
The government’s approach shifts the responsibility of funding social care from national government to local residents, breaking decades of convention about the responsibilities of the state.
Responding to the Age UK’s research he added:
“In light of the report it’s clear that little time is left to protect these services. Portsmouth is not on its own. Local councils are taking action to reduce the harm of Tory cuts to social care budgets. The government must now listen and must now act. But until then, we should continue to find creative ways to tackle this most pressing of issues facing our communities”.