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Social care may face 21% cuts, warns Labour

14 May 2020

The Labour Party is warning that councils may have to brace themselves for cuts of around a fifth of their social care budgets. Its analysis is suggesting that local authorities may face a £3.5bn shortfall, resulting in the loss of care for just under a quarter of a million adults.

The government announced a further £6 million cash injection earlier this week, on top of the £3.2bn it has already released to councils since March.

With revenue streams such as parking fines all but dried up during the Coronavirus crisis, councils are looking to see where they can make cuts. Social care generally makes up over half of local authority budgets. The chair of the Local Government Association, James Jamieson has estimated councils will need nearly £13bn to tackle the crisis this year.

The news comes after social care directors at Birmingham, Solihull, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Sunderland, Derbyshire and Coventry, all implemented easements to the Care Act 2014 allowed under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

DR UK Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “The government needs to commit to strong investment in social care for the whole year. Cash injections every few months do not allow local authorities to plan properly to fully meet the needs of those who need social care. We have heard the government’s pledge to do more to protect older people and disabled people, particularly those in care homes. Now we need that pledge to be put into practice in relation to social care, and for the government to take the same bold approach to care and support that they have taken in respect of jobs and the economy.”