Significant plans for the future of adult social care have been announced by the Government, including the introduction of a new health and social care levy.
The UK-wide 1.25 per cent levy, based on National Insurance contributions, is expected to raise £36 billion over three years, with £5.4 billion going to adult social care. This will be ringfenced to fund proposals including a cap on personal care costs set at £86,000, effective from October 2023.
People will not have to pay towards the cost of their care if they have less than £20,000 in assets, up from the current threshold of £14,250, while only those with assets of more than £100,000 will be required to pay for the full cost of their own care.
Self-funders will be able to request access to care at council-funded rates, with an expectation that councils will use some of the additional funding to pay care providers a ‘fair price for care’.
Investment of £500 million for new measures to support the care workforce, more support for unpaid carers, investment in the Disabled Facilities Grant and supported housing, and plans for a white paper on wider reforms were also announced.
The LGA said the proposals were an important first step in changing the way social care is funded and that the promise of a new adult social care white paper is positive, but that further clarity is needed on a range of issues
LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson said: “Greater information is needed on what proportion of the new levy will come to social care, including when and how the funding will be distributed.
“The Spending Review must also set out how immediate and short-term pressures will be addressed, along with funding to improve the quality, quantity and accessibility of care and support, without relying on measures such as the adult social care council tax precept, which raises varying amounts in different parts of the country and is not related to need.”