In the social care sector, there will be a funding gap of £2.2–£2.5 billion in 2019–20.
This is according to a June 2018 joint report by the Health and Social Care and Housing, Communities and Local Government Committees on long-term funding of adult social care.
The report states that costings of future provision of social care need to begin with a clear articulation of what good care looks like and costs for both older adults and working age adults; ‘Simply extending the current, inadequate provision of social care to more people is not a tenable long-term position.’
It gives the following principles for funding social care:
- Good quality care: Funding should be sufficient to achieve the aims of social care, which are to promote a person’s wellbeing, independence and dignity, and enable them to exercise choice and control over the way their live their life.
- Considering working age adults as well as older people: The social care Green Paper is focusing on older people. However, to be sustainable, reforms to social care funding need to take into account the costs of meeting the needs of working age adults.
- Ensuring fairness between the generations: Contributions towards the cost of care should be fairly distributed between generations.
- Aspiring over time towards universal access to personal care free at the
point of delivery: The burden of the cost falls on individuals in an unfair distribution depending on diagnoses. The balance needs to be redressed, aspiring over time towards universal access to sustainably funded social care, free at the point of delivery.
- Risk pooling—protecting people from catastrophic costs, and protecting a greater portion of their savings and assets:
A cap on the amount of care costs a person paid would pool this risk. Providing free at point of delivery care for those assessed as having critical or substantial care needs would be another way of protecting people
from this risk.
- ‘Earmarked’ payments: People are generally willing to contribute more to pay for social care if they can be assured that the money will be spent on this purpose. ‘Earmarking’ taxation can help to give confidence and accountability over spending.