Magazine article Public Finance

Minister Confirms Social Care Cash Will Not Be Ring-Fenced

Magazine article Public Finance

Minister Confirms Social Care Cash Will Not Be Ring-Fenced

Article excerpt

The government has defended its decision not to ring-fence new council funding for adult social care, despite concerns that it will not be used as intended.

Care services minister Paul Burstow this week said the government had responded to calls from local government to remove ring-fencing from grants. He confirmed there would be 'no strings attached' to the £lbn extra funding for councils to spend on social care, which was announced in last month's Comprehensive Spending Review.

Doubts have been cast on whether the extra cash will feed through to social care, given the severity of council spending cuts. It was part of a £2bn package of additional funding for social care, with the other £lbn coming from the NHS.

Burstow said the Department of Health would want councils to make their 'best endeavours' to spend the new grant on social care, adding: 1We can't say that local authorities are to be trusted partners working with us and not trust them to make budget decisions to meet (heir needs.'

He also told Public Finance that it would be 'entirely wrong7 to 1WJeId a big stick7 given the mounting pressures facing local authorities. 1We are providing additional resources and this is not the place for the language of sanctions/ he said. …

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