Whilst outwardly maintaining a close grip on the content of the budget , we are already seeing plenty of trailing of possible content. I can't believe the minister has gone off piste here. The Government has recognised a strategic own goal in the last autumn statement by not mentioning social care so it will get coverage this time as will surely business rates revaluation. The question is that " coverage" neither provides care or funds it,, Its about hard cash . Telling councils to be more efficient after a decade of austerity is largely pointless not because there is not some scope for this is all public bodies including central Government led services, but because for councils who provide social care, the rest of the budget which isn't ringfenced via some sort of statutory requirement- eg schools, HRA ec is largely immaterial. So either the government comes up with some more public money to invest in social care or we will continue to se councils lurch towards financial crisis and the siege of A&E department continue unabated. This will all cost fare more than any investment made now. Investing sensibly in social care will do more to break down silos and encourage collaboration in public services than any other step Government could take.
Social care minister David Mowat has said he would “put money” on social care featuring in next week’s Budget.Addressing a meeting of the Local Government Association’s councillors forum today Mr Mowat said the issue was a priority for the prime minister and the government was looking at a mid-term solution to financial pressures. He said: “I know there was criticism of social care not being mentioned in the autumn statement. I would be prepared to put a fair amount of money that this won’t happen this time.” According to reports, the government is planning to announce that councils’ spending of additional funding for social care will be monitored by the Care Quality Commission, an extension of the regulator’s role. Mr Mowat said he “couldn’t agree more” that such regulation should not be an added financial burden on councils.