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Government promises councils extra £1.bn for social care

Joanna Faith
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Joanna Faith

Councils will have access to an extra £1.5bn of funding for social care next year, the chancellor has announced.

In his Spending Review today, Sajid Javid suggested further reforms around tackling the UK’s social care crisis would be announced “in due course”.

He said the Prime Minister had “committed to a clear plan to fix social care, and give every older person the dignity and security they deserve”.

He said: “Alongside the largest increase in Local Government spending power since 2010 and on top of the existing £2.5bn of social care grants that’s a solid foundation to protect the stability of the system next year and a down payment on the more fundamental reforms the Prime Minister will set out in due course.”

In July, the Lords economic affairs committee said an immediate £8bn investment was needed to restore social care to acceptable standards.

It found more than a million older people were not receiving the social care they needed.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said: “As the Chancellor admitted, this ‘down payment’ doesn’t in any way reduce the critical need for a fundamental review. The scale of the issue is more heart surgery than sticking plaster.

“We need to arrive at a new, fair and sustainable deal on social care funding which will allow people to understand and plan ahead for their contribution should they need care.

“Fixing this huge problem area must be a priority for Government and the millions of families awaiting a new deal while struggling week by week to provide care and dignity to elderly relatives.”

Research from investment firm Fidelity found a quarter of people in their 70s don’t know how they will meet care costs and a quarter of those in their 50s haven’t thought how they will pay for long-term care.