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Editor’s Viewpoint: Chancellor’s Spending Review – What’s Your Opinion?

Chancellor-George-Osborne-Budget-2015-e1448023472502The Chancellor’s spending review? Has he simply kicked the can down the road? On the face of it, it would look like the Chancellor’s proposal to allow local authorities to charge an extra 2% council tax to fund adult social care would appear to be just that. I have to agree that that allowing local councils to charge an extra 2% will no doubt create additional funds that can be only be spent locally and specifically only on adult care, providing greater flexibility. However, I suspect that a huge chunk of any monies raised locally will immediately be eaten national minimum wage increases, leaving precious little to assist with an already underfunded care industry. Furthermore, it will be a very uneven “fix” since the country is very diverse in areas of wealth/employment. Some parts of the country for more affluent than others.

We did, after the spending review, receive considerable industry comment which we have published in the new section of our website. Most were quite scathing of the Chancellor’s review and all appear to be in agreement that we really are simply are deferring a huge problem for the future. I did note a very interesting argument/comment put forward by William Laing of healthcare experts LaingBuisson who said: “With further home closures, occupancy rates in those that remain will rise. Market power will shift to providers and a point will eventually be reached where central government has no other realistic option but to provide councils with the means to re-incentivise sufficient investment in care home capacity to enable councils to fulfil their statutory duties. But this will in all probability only happen when a full-blown capacity crisis is clearly visible.” Testing times ahead, and we would welcome your thoughts, so please feel free to drop us a line.

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