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Health Series: Expert Comment

Spending review leaves social care the poor relation

The timer is still ticking in social care and the Chancellor's announcement won't stop a detonation, says former Care Services Minister
by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

On Wednesday the Chancellor George Osborne delivered his economic plan for the next five years, detailing in a speech that lasted for more than an hour his financial game plan and how this will affect the wallets and purses of the public.

Comprised of an Autumn Statement and a Spending Review, the speech included an announcement on social care, with Osborne revealing that local authorities with responsibility for social care will be allowed to levy a new social care tax of up to 2% on council tax.

Commenting on the Chancellors announcements for social care, former Care Services Minister Paul Burstow, Professor of Health and Social Care at City University London, said:

"The timer is still ticking in social care, the Chancellor's announcement won't stop a detonation.

"The 2% rise in Council tax won't raise the promised £2bn and it won't raise enough where it is most needed.  When set against a 30% plus cut in Council budgets the 2% is a drop in a very leaky bucket.

"Plans for a 7 day a week NHS are a dangerous pipe dream that can't be delivered without a functioning social services.  Slowing down the pace of pooling NHS and social care budgets sends the wrong signal too.

"What happened to the 'saving' from putting off capping care costs, why no help to mitigate the impact of the national living wage?

"Talk to NHS leaders and what worries them most is the shortage of care services in the community. Today's spending review leaves social care the poor relation and the impact will simply shunt most demand into the NHS."

To speak to Paul Burstow, please contact George Wigmore, Senior Communications Officer at City University London, on +44 (0)7989 643 112 or

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.