This week the government gave the final confirmation of an additional £1.5bn for social care in 2020-21. However, council leaders were disappointed at the government failure to include any additional money to cover the late December announcement of a 6.2% increase in national minimum wage and living wage.

Councils were hoping that some additional money would be forthcoming to help them cover the wage increases. In a statement the Local Government Authority (LGA) said:

“We are disappointed that the government has not used the final settlement to provide the £220 million needed to pay for the faster than expected rise in the National Living Wage (NLW) from April……this unforeseen new cost pressure needs to be funded to avoid the fragile care provider market being further destabilised.”

Although the government touted the funding settlement at 4.4%, as the largest increase in a decade, the LGA noted that the settlement is only for one year and in order to improve services, rather than “just keep them running”, a long-term funding settlement is necessary.

Furthermore, no public health settlement has yet been published, which makes it extremely difficult to plan proper services. Social care and public health are intertwined with the NHS and vital in reducing the strain on the NHS.

£1 billion of the new funding comes from the government, with the remaining £500 million being raised by local authorities from council tax rates and increasing the tax precept that provides dedicated funding for adult social care services by a further 2%.

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