Our response to the local government finance settlement

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Richard Humphries, Assistant Director for Policy for The King’s Fund, said:

'The new support grant for social care and the decision to allow councils to raise more money through Council Tax over the next two years is belated recognition of the huge pressures on social care, but it is nowhere near enough to address next year’s funding gap.

'The emphasis on the precept risks increasing the inequalities that mean the wealthiest parts of the country can raise up to three times as much as poorer areas. Simply passing the problem to councils to solve is inadequate.

'While the Prime Minister has committed to finding a sustainable long-term solution, there is an urgent need to explain how this will be developed. In the meantime, older people, their families and carers are being let down by a failure of political leadership.

'This once again underlines the need for fundamental reform to put social care on a sustainable footing for the future. A frank and open debate with the public, building on the work of the Barker Commission to deliver a new settlement for health and social care, is long overdue. Successive governments have ducked this challenge.'

Notes to editors

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact The King’s Fund Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585 (if calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).