Magazine article Public Finance

Doubts Cast on 'Extra Cash for Care' Claims

Magazine article Public Finance

Doubts Cast on 'Extra Cash for Care' Claims

Article excerpt

Chancellor George Osborne promised an extra £2bn of funding for elderly social care by 2014 but doubts have been raised about its impact.

Some £lbn will come from the NHS budget, while another £lbn from crossgovernment savings will be merged into the local government formula grant

Osborne said the additional funding would 'protect the most vulnerable' and promote joint working between the health service and councils.

But there was mixed reaction to the move, with experts warning that it was not new money and that grant funding for social care had only been earmarked, not ring- fenced.

With councils already grappling with 7% year-on-year cuts, Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK, said: 'The purported "£2bn additional funding'' for social care in fact just replaces cuts [Osborne] is simultaneously making to local government budgets. Over the four-year period covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review, we predict that spending on care will suffer a modest fall in real terms.'

Jennifer Dixon, director of the Nuffield Trust said that the extra £lbn grant was 'by no means certain'. …

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