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Carers UK responds to Chancellor's Spending Review

25 November 2020

In the Chancellor's one year Spending Review today, he promised the following for adult social care:

  • Local authorities will be able to increase their council tax bills by 2 per cent without needing to hold a referendum, and social care authorities will be able to charge an additional 3 per cent precept to help fund pressures in social care. 
  • This funding is additional to the £1 billion social care grant announced last year which is being maintained. The government expects to provide local authorities with over £3 billion to address Covid-19 pressures, including in adult social care.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“The extra money the Chancellor promised for adult social care is not nearly enough to help take the pressure off unpaid carers who have been taking on extraordinary hours of care since March, with limited or no support at all from day and support services.

“78% of unpaid carers are seeing the needs of the person they care for increase and 74% are worn out and exhausted - this is not a time to leave social care short of funding.

“We are deeply concerned about how carers will continue to cope over the winter without these crucial support services. Earlier this week, ADASS said 63% of councils had already reported a rise in the breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements.

“This problem is only going to get worse unless the Government acts to protect unpaid carers and ensures all those caring more than 50 hours a week get a funded break. Without specific measures for carers, many more are going to reach breaking point and we will see an increase in hospital admissions at a time when the health system is already under huge pressure.

“So many carers are also facing financial hardship whilst providing more hours of care. The Government should increase the income of carers entitled to Carer’s Allowance, just £67.25 a week, by £20 a week, to match that made months ago to Universal Credit.

“This winter we urgently need to see targeted support for unpaid carers who are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The Government must prioritise sufficient funding for our social care system which is trying to manage both increased costs and increased demand for care during a very challenging period.”

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