Published on Friday, 27th November 2015

 

The spending review contains some belated recognition that pressures in council-funded Adult Social Care can give rise to greater costs in the NHS and end up costing the state more overall. They also result in an inferior service since no-one wants to stay in hospital.

 

The Spending Review talks of moving money from district councils to counties to help address this (this has no implications for Portsmouth with its single-tier council). The government will also allow local authorities with care responsibilities to increase the council tax by 4% to cope with the additional costs. Worryingly no funds are being made available to cope with the National Living Wage, which from April will result in an increased hourly rate for people over 25 of £7.20 per hour from £6.50. This means Portsmouth could have a £1.5m black hole in the budget for agency domilicary care workers and for private sector care home staff.

 

Until the final numbers are released on December 17th it is not going to be possible to say for sure whether the council can cope with this pressure or whether there will have to be a mini-budget and further savings. The alternative is to raise an extra £1.2m by increasing the council tax by 4%. None of the options is attractive.

 

Tags: Budget, Adult Social Care