Public views needed as adult social care reaches breaking point

Cornwall Council is encouraging all residents and community groups to take part in a major national consultation by the Local Government Association (LGA) into how to pay for adult social care and support for older people, working age adults with mental or physical disabilities and unpaid carers.

The LGA estimates that adult social care services face an annual funding gap of £3.5 billion by 2025.

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Years of significant underfunding of councils, alongside rising demand and costs for care and support has pushed adult social care services to breaking point.

Rob Rotchell, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for adults said: “With a growing number of adults relying on some form of social care in Cornwall, we are already looking at how we can make changes to the way that people receive care and support in Cornwall. This national debate is important for us all and we encourage everyone to take part in this survey so that your voice can be heard.  

“We need to take action now to make sure that we all receive the care and support that we might need in the future. There are a number of options discussed around how we can fund future care and support and we encourage you to consider carefully which option would work best.“

The LGA’s eight-week consultation is open to all members of the public – regardless of whether they are directly affected by or receive adult social care and support – and community groups. The findings will be used to help influence the Government’s own green paper and its spending plans.

Take part in the LGA's 'Future of Adult Social Care' consultation 

Cllr Izzi Seccombe Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Finding a long-term funding solution for adult social care and support has been kicked into the long grass by successive governments for the past two decades and has brought these services to breaking point.

“Our green paper is the start of a nationwide public debate about the future of care for all adults and we encourage as many people and organisations to have their say on how we pay for it and the responsibilities of national government, local councils, citizens, families and communities.”

The LGA's consultation closes on Wednesday 26 September.

Possible solutions to paying for adult social care in the long-term outlined in the consultation include: 

  • Increasing income tax for taxpayers of all ages – a 1p rise on the basic rate could raise £4.4 billion in 2024/25
  • Increasing national insurance – a 1p rise could raise £10.4 billion in 2024/25
  • A Social Care Premium - this would be a contribution, such as an addition to National Insurance or another mechanism, paid by employers and people over 40, including over 65s. If it was assumed everyone over 40 was able to pay the same amount (not the case under National Insurance), raising £1 billion would mean a cost of £33.40 for each person aged 40+ in 2024/25. This is a purely illustrative figure and would not be the cost to individuals if the premium was attached to National Insurance given that a person’s employment status and/or how much they earn determines the amount they contribute to National Insurance.
  • Means testing universal benefits, such as winter fuel allowance and free TV licences, could raise £1.9 billion in 2024/25
  • Allowing councils to increase council tax – a 1 per cent rise would generate £285 million in 2024/25