Councils get £500m social care funding boost

  • 25th January 2024

Councils in England are to receive a £600m support package, including £500m for social care.

The money, which comes in addition to the £64bn provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024-25, will be added to the Social Care Grant to bolster care budgets.

Levelling-Up Secretary, Michael Gove, said: “We have listened to councils across England about the pressures they’re facing and have always stood ready to help those in need.

“This additional £600m support package illustrates our commitment to local government.

“We are in their corner and we support the incredible and often unsung work they do day-to-day to support people across the country.”

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said of the announcement: “This injection of funding is a welcome recognition of the challenges faced by local authorities and care providers alike.

“However, the Government must move away from short-term sticking plasters and towards strategic allocations of money that will truly benefit the sector.

A short-term solution

“Against the backdrop of the rises in the National Living Wage, rising utility costs, and the gap from the Fair Cost of Care being largely unaddressed, this new money in isolation runs the risk of being another short-term solution of money in the face of a problem that needs long-term funding to resolve.”

Sam Monaghan, chief executive of MHA, added: “With thousands of people waiting for care services, it is critical that the £600m in additional funding which the Government is providing to local authorities reaches adult social care services as soon as possible.

“This short-term injection of cash for the sector will provide a good news headline for government ahead of an anticipated general election later this year.

“However, what the sector desperately needs is more-sustainable and long-term solutions.

“The funding won’t help care providers to resolve the continued pressures they are facing, which include eye-wateringly high utility bills and a workforce crisis.

“To meet the care needs of the population – both now and in the future – while providing greater certainty to the sector, the Government must show it is committed to long-term funding.

“The Spring Budget offers it a great opportunity to put these firmer plans in place.”

Living well

And Cathie Williams, joint chief executive of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, said: “This additional funding for social care is much needed and will be welcomed by people using and working in care and support.

“But, given the well documented pressures on council finances and adult social care budgets, more still needs to be done to help people stay independent at home for longer, support unpaid carers, and address workforce challenges, or we risk denying people the care and support they need to live well.

“We need to move from treating the symptoms to addressing the cause of the challenges we see in adult social care, like long waiting times and people missing out on care altogether.

“We look forward to working with government to develop a long-term, fully-funded plan for adult social care that focuses on enabling people to live as healthily as possible, for as long as possible.”

Keep Updated

Sign up to our weekly property newsletter to receive the latest news.