Salford Labour Party Motion to Council onAdult Social Care
18th Janauary 2017
Adult Social Care is in crisis. Britain's frontline services are struggling with an ageing population with increasingly complex social needs. Local authorities around the country are at breaking point, yet despite this, between 2010-2015 over £4.6bn has been cut from the adult social care budget according the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
This year, in response to increasing pressure from frontline professionals, trade unions, local politicians and expert voices across the country, the government has agreed to put £240m more into the ASC budget. This money is a drop in the ocean – but to make matters worse, it is not new investment. Instead, the government has raided the New Homes Bonus.
For many of the poorest areas of the country, this will actually mean less money for frontline services. In Salford, we will lose £2.3m from our budget through these changes in 2017-18, meaning more pressure on already overstretched resources. This is in addition to austerity, which has seen Salford Council lose £186 million from our budget since 2010.
Poorer Local Authorities, in particular, are now being forced to increase council tax. This is unfair on low income earners, already struggling to make ends meet. And it puts a disproportionate pressure on more deprived Local Authorities who raise less income through local tax.
As a council we move that,
More Money is needed for Adult Social Care. The paltry offerings from the last budget do not come close to covering the funding gap for necessary services. Significantly more money is needed to replace what has been lost since 2010.
More Fairness is needed in the distribution of resources. Area-specific grants which fall outside of the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) disproportionately benefit wealthier authorities. Resources from local government can't continue to be distributed on a crude per-capita basis which doesn't adequately take relative need into account.
More Transparency is needed in the process of allocating central government funds. Shuffling money between different pots and calling it new investment is dishonest, and deliberately confuses the political debate. This forces unfair taxation locally, and increases pressure on the poor.