Red Lines

Mind the Gap


Tory cuts to adult social care will hit

the vulnerable and threaten our NHS

Independent research published today shows that Conservative government cuts to councils will lead to a £1.7 billion gap in adult social care funding in London by 2020 that will threaten the most vulnerable and undermine the NHS.

Adult social care is one of the most important services councils deliver, providing care and support for elderly, ill or disabled people at their own house or in a care home.

Some 170,000 Londoners receive care from their council, but growing demand and huge government cuts will leave a £1.7 billion funding gap in the capital by 2020.

The Government has announced it will give councils ‘the power to increase social care funding’ by allowing them to levy an additional 2 per cent precept on Council Tax.

Yet, even if every London Borough increased Council Tax by 2 per cent every year, this would raise only £570 million by 2020. Ministers also points to the Better Care Fund, which will total £410m by 2020 in London, but this is money taken from existing council funding, and it will not all go on adult social care.

So, even if every London Borough levied the 2 per cent precept every year, and even if all of the Better Care Fund was spent on adult social care, there would still be a gap of £750 million in adult social care in London by 2020.

This represents a reduction of over £4,000 for each person in receipt of adult social care. Funding for social care will be cut massively and the Tory Government is to blame.

Councils have been hit hardest by ideologically-driven Tory austerity. Government funding for councils has fallen by 40 per cent since 2010, and it is set to be cut further still.

Sadiq Khan, Labour candidate for Mayor of London, said:

“A city can be judged by the way it cares for its vulnerable residents. As Londoners, we all want our city to pass that test. But the Tory government, with its relentless cuts to councils’ funding, is making that impossible”.

Heidi Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, said:

“This research is further proof that the Tories’ plan for funding older people’s care in London, and across the country, is woefully inadequate. The growing crisis in social care is one of the key reasons why the NHS in London is under so much pressure. Since David Cameron came to power, thousands of older people living in the capital are no longer getting the crucial help they need. This is leading to many more people in their 80s and 90s ending up in hospital unnecessarily and having to stay there because of a lack of care in the community. Ministers cannot allow this neglect of social care services to go on any longer.”

Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council and Labour’s London Councils Shadow Lead Member on Adult Social Care, said:

“Labour councillors are standing up for Londoners against Tory government cuts to social care. The government’s decision to keep slashing councils’ budgets hits the vulnerable the hardest and spells serious trouble for the NHS. The NHS cannot survive if the social care system is decimated.” 

Dr Brian Fisher, a GP based in Lewisham, said:

“As a GP, my colleagues and I increasingly see the impact of government cuts on the lives of our patients and on the NHS. The woman dependent on carers to see her through the week having their hours cut by half. The impossibility of arranging meals on wheels for those who need them. And, of course, the impact on the NHS of not being able to move patients from hospital into safe social care. None of this is necessary.”