Age UK’s latest Care In Crisis report highlights the depth of the care funding crisis, as spending on older people’s social care in England has fallen by half a billion pounds in the past year.
Saga once again calls upon the Government to address the crisis with the urgency it demands.
Dr Ros Altmann, Director General, Saga said: “For those needing care now and their families, this crisis is of grave importance.
The Government, recognising the current system is wholly inadequate and underfunded, has claimed it is putting billions more into care. However, as long as the money assigned to care is not ring fenced, and as long as local councils are under financial pressure, it will be impossible to ensure that the money is actually spent on the care that is so urgently needed.
“This important money allocated for care must be protected against being raided to shore up day to day council spending. Ministers have previously suggested that they cannot ring-fence council funds as it should be left to local authorities to decide how to spend the money, it was but this is no longer a valid argument, since last week's increase in the council's public health budget has been ring-fenced. So why should care funding be overlooked - the money is desperately needed now and decent care cannot be provided without adequate funding.
“Policy makers need to stop denying the care crisis and confront the serious reality. We need to ensure protection of the money assigned to care and appropriate distribution of it if we are to avoid seeing any more money washed and wasted away on lesser priorities.
“We cannot expect people to plan for their care needs in future if the Government is unable to get its own plans right.”