Where does the spending review leave social care?

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Comedy genius Peter Cook once observed, “I have learned from my mistakes and I am sure I can repeat them exactly.” In treating social care very differently from the NHS, the government has repeated the mistakes of the 2010 and 2013 spending reviews.

This time, the water has been muddied by the introduction of a new funding element – the ability of local authorities to levy a ‘precept’ on council tax by up to 2 per cent, on condition that it is spent on social care – and the unexpected addition of £1.5bn to the Better Care Fund. The latter appears to be genuinely new money for social care and not raided from the separate, previously announced increases for the NHS.

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