Cuts Watch #249: More worries about social care
Worries about the impact of the cuts on social care are mounting as an authoritative voice today raised concerns about rising charges for care services. Counsel and Care, the charity for social care for older people published the results of a survey of 56 local authorities’ care budgets. Over half the local authorities said they would be cutting their social care budgets or reducing the range of services available; six said they were considering increases in charges for home care and another four were consulting on raising charges.
Last week we reported that the Local Government Association has warned that demographic change will force up the amount Councils spend on social care from £14.4 billion now to £20 billion by 2015. And, earlier in the month, ACEVO (the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) released the results of a poll showing that 78% of members of the public are worried about “how cuts to essential services will affect the most vulnerable members of society.”
As our society gets older it will cost more and more to provide the services on which frail elderly and disabled adults depend – the relevant budgets need to grow, not shrink. If the government fails to achieve this they will find it hard to persuade the public that the cuts are fair and necessary.