A new inquiry has launched to investigate how COVID-19 has impacted the adult social care sector and its long-term funding needs following the pandemic.
The inquiry, launched by the Housing Communities and Local Government Committee, will look into the likely legacy of the pandemic on the sector and the impact this has had on providers’ finances.
It will also examine how additional funds can be raised to ensure the long-term stability of the sector and how the social care market can be supported to improve innovation.
Committee Chair Clive Betts MP (pictured) said: “The challenge of finding a long-term solution to the financial pressures on the adult social care system is one of the toughest questions we will have to face in the coming years. We have seen year on year the demand on services increasing, while local authority budgets have been stretched more and more. The Government has attempted to address this spasmodically with one-off pots of funding for the most critical needs, but it is clear that we must have a solution that provides a financial plan for decades, not just months. Unless the funding of social care is resolved there will continue to be more cuts to other council services and this is simply not sustainable.
“Our new inquiry sets out to understand how covid-19 has placed further stress on an already challenging environment, and the likely long-term consequences for adult social care. Given the likely long-term financial implications of the pandemic on society as a whole, we will also reconsider how we can provide the necessary funding boost fairly and look at how we can support the sector to innovate in how it provides care.”
The investigation follows on from the joint inquiry carried out by the select committee in partnership with the Health and Social Care Committee on the long-term funding of Adult Social Care in 2018.
At the time, it called for the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission to develop a long-term funding solution for adult social care based on political consensus and public engagement, covering housing as well as health and social care services.
It recommended that additional funding be raised through Council Tax reform, a new ring-fenced social care premium for the over-40s or increases to inheritance tax above a certain threshold.