Joan Ryan MP has challenged the Government during an Urgent Question debate on social care funding, over the impact of cuts to adult social care in Enfield.
During an Urgent Question debate on social care funding, I challenged the Government about the impact that cuts to social care are having on Enfield. There is a crisis in social care and the blame lies at the Tories’ door.
Almost two months ago, the Care Quality Commission warned that social care could be approaching a “tipping point”.
In Enfield, the Council's central funding grant from the Government will have been reduced by a staggering 60% between 2010 and 2020.
As a knock on effect, Enfield Council will have to make savings of £24 million by 2020 from its adult social care budget - this is despite the fact that Enfield is one of the most deprived Boroughs in London and there are an increasing number of vulnerable people in need of adult social care. This situation is unsustainable.
To try and do something about the crisis in social care, the Government introduced a new social care precept in its 2015 Spending Review. This allowed councils to raise council tax by 2% to be spent on adult social care.
Yet the Government's council tax precept is no solution to the problem and in fact exacerbates it. For Enfield Council, it would equate to about £1.8 million additional income per year. In reality, because of an increasing population and other funding pressures, Enfield Council's adult social care budget is currently running in excess of £2 million per year.
Ray James, Director of Health, Housing & Adult Social Care at Enfield Council, said that ‘The Council Tax precept will raise least money in areas of greatest need which risks heightening inequality.’
So I challenged the Minister for Community Health and Care, if that is what experts in the field are saying, why does he think he knows better?