MPs Urge 'Swift' Cross-Party Review of Social Care Funding
The heads of three influential House of Commons committees have implored Prime Minister Theresa May to establish a cross-party review into social care funding.
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Communities and Local Government Committee chair Clive Betts MP, Public Accounts Committee Chair Meg Hillier MP and Health Committee chair Dr. Sarah Wollaston MP sent a letter to Downing Street urging the PM to find 'political consensus' over the ongoing crisis.
Though the government has announced that it will allocate a further £900 million to fund adult social care over the next two years, the Local Government Association has previously warned there will be a £2.6 billion funding gap in England by 2020.
All three MPs have said the government must set up a review 'as soon as possible' so extra funding can be agreed and allocated in the next spending round.
They went on to say that ongoing Brexit negotiations must not overshadow the crisis surrounding the social care system, which is currently at 'breaking point.'
Concerning the review, the MPs said: "Given the scale of rising demand, this immense challenge will face whichever party is in government over the coming decades...
"...We also feel that this ongoing separation of health and social care is creating difficulties and avoidable barriers and inefficiencies.
"Any review should cover the two systems. We are calling for a new political consensus to take this forward."
The government announced in December that it will allow local councils to raise council tax by six percent to help fund adult social care.
Councils had previously been allowed to raise council tax by two percent - a 'social care precept' - to fund adult social care under plans announced by David Cameron's government.
Plans to expand the precept were announced after Chancellor Philip Hammond failed to mention social care funding in the Autumn Statement, sparking criticism that Downing Street had failed to grasp the severity of the social care crisis.