Rishi Sunak introduced the National Insurance increase to pay for social care – now Staffordshire County Council is worried they won’t get the money they desperately need.
The Local Government Association (LGA) estimates that £13bn is needed for the social care sector and Staffordshire County Council’s Conservative Leader, Alan White, has said: “We are also concerned about how the funding of the new Government social care reforms will be funded now the NHS health and social care levy plans have been scrapped.”
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The association argued that £6bn of this funding is needed immediately to increase care worker pay, meet demography and inflation pressures, and stabilise the provider market. The remaining £7bn is required to ensure councils can deliver on all of their statutory duties under the Care Act.
The stated policy objective was to increase, permanently, spending on health and social care adding that “It would be irresponsible to meet these costs through higher borrowing, particularly in the context of record borrowing and debt to fund the economic response to COVID-19. The Government has therefore taken the decision to increase taxation.”
Of course, the new chancellor and PM is reversing this and increasing borrowing dramatically – hence the concern for social care in Staffordshire.
A welcome for Investment Zones – and housing
At the same time the County Council Leader welcomed the Government looking at Staffordshire for “Investment Zones” which would include streamlining planning and development – or as they put it, “The government wants to do everything possible to streamline and accelerate delivery of high-quality development for jobs and homes. When proposals come forward for Investment Zones, they will benefit from a liberalised planning process.”
We know what that means but let’s see if Staffordshire MPs or County Councillors support residents when they want to have a say on the planning proposals for houses and other developments