Chancellor’s new money for adult social care is crumbs from the table

Full story in the Guardian, 31 October 2018

n the face of it, this year’s budget was good news for social care. The chancellor recognised the immediate pressures facing local authorities and has announced £650m new grant funding for 2019-20 and another £45m this year for the disabled facilities grant.

But closer scrutiny of the detail paints a different picture. The £240m previously announced to help relieve NHS winter pressures this year will be repeated next year, with a further £410m to bring the total up to £650m. But this sum is expected to cover children’s social care as well, requiring councils to exercise the judgment of Solomon in prioritising the intense demands on services for disabled people, older people and children and families.

The amount available purely for adult social care next year is just £240m, falling way short of the £2.3bn estimated by the Association of Directors of Social Services as the minimum requirement for next year. Even this amount could be imperilled in the event of a chaotic no-deal exit from the EU.