Greens have said “extra funding” announced by government for social care is a case of ‘smoke and mirrors’  They accuse the government of reallocating or retiming existing funding pots, including money for new homes, to look like additional cash for social care.
Last week the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed that the new “Adult Social Care Grant” is largely a relabelling of money councils were going to receive anyway” .
Greens are instead supporting a call by Unison to use £2.4bn in unallocated business rates collected from local government to provide real additional funding for social care.
Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West said
“The government is engaging in a cruel con game where local councils are shown “new” funding for desperately needed social care with one hand only to find much needed funding from somewhere else taken away with the other hand.”
“The government must stop playing games with people’s lives and develop a truly sustainable funding plan for Adult Social Care. They should consider the idea put forward by Unison to plough back unallocated business rates into the communities in which the rates were collected so they can use this money to support social care provision”
“ Adult social care is at a critical stage and needs a substantive injection of funding in order to combat the serious spending pressures faced by local authorities like Bristol. The government needs to listen to those working at the coalface, such as our local councils and unions, and act decisively”
Councillor Charlie Bolton, leader of the Green group of councillors said
“Bristol City Council is facing enormous spending pressures, as indicated by the current spending freeze”.
“Funding to provide social care and reduce homelessness are areas of particular concern and the two are also inter-related. Homelessness of course, is linked to a lack of truly affordable housing in the city – and thus for the government to look to part-fund social care by robbing funds designed to help councils deliver more housing is incredibly short sighted and likely to be counter-productive.”
“In Bristol, for example, using the pot of money identified by Unison could provide an additional £19m per annum for social care, whereas in contrast the government’s sleight of hand is unlikely to even cover the existing £11m spending pressure faced by social care services in the city. “