The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that local authorities will be given an extra £1bn to fund social care.
In his Spending Review, Rishi Sunak said councils in England will be allowed to increase their core spending power by 4.5% to help fund social care spending.
He said councils will have the “extra flexibility” to raise money for social care through council tax and the Adult Social Care precept, which, together with a new £300 million grant from Whitehall, gives them access to an extra £1bn.
Sunak added that the funding comes in addition to the £1bn social care grant that was provided this year.
On social care reform, the chancellor said the government is “committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system” and will bring forward proposals next year.
Meanwhile, the NHS is set to receive a £3bn funding boost to recover from the pandemic, allowing one million checks, scans and operations to take place.
Commenting on the news, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said: “Of course £1 billion is welcome, we welcome every penny, but in comparison with the NHS and the challenges that the sector faces, this figure is too little and too late. Unfortunately, on previous occasions when the government gave huge amounts of money to Local Authorities, it did not reach the front line so we have grave concerns about the delivery mechanism”.
The chancellor also confirmed that while nurses, doctors and others in the NHS will get a pay rise, other public sector workers will not.
However, the 2.1 million public sector workers who earn less than the median wage of £24,000 will be guaranteed a pay rise of at least £250.
Sunak said the government will accept a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to increase the National Living Wage next year by 2.2%, to £8.91 an hour – extended to those aged 23 and over.
More to follow.