Council welcomes much-needed extra funds for social care
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North Somerset Council leaders have welcomed the Government's announcement about additional funding for social care.
The government has promised to change the way social care is funded, and create a new integrated system between health and social care to improve outcomes for people.
North Somerset has experienced growing demand for many years for all forms of adult social care across all age groups but funding has not kept pace with the demand.
Cllr Mike Bell, North Somerset Council's executive member with responsibility for adult services and health said the council had been trying for many years to do more with less money.
He said: "The system has been unable to cope and I welcome the additional investment. It's too early to know what the impacts of this will be for our local health and care system but it is certainly a step in the right direction, if not taking us the whole way there.
"According to the Local Government Association, councils face an adult social care funding gap of £2.2billion in the current financial year, rising to £2.7billion by 2023/24. This is just for core pressures, things like demography, inflation and National Living Wage increases. The provider market gap, that is the difference between what councils are able to pay and what care providers say the cost of their service is, is growing too.
"This does not take into account the cost of tackling many of the challenges facing social care, such as unmet and under-met needs, a lack of funding for prevention, an overstretched and undervalued workforce, and growing strain on unpaid carers."
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Under the new plans, people will no longer pay more than £86,000 in care costs during their lifetime. Once people have reached this cap, ongoing costs will be paid for by local authorities.
Those with between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will get means-tested help towards costs from their local council. People who own less than £20,000 will not have to pay towards care costs from their assets at all, but might have to contribute from their income.
The Social Care tax 1.25 percentage point increase will apply to National Insurance and dividend income from 2022 and will raise £12billion a year. In 2023 it will become an additional tax on income.
The government says the changes will cost £255 a year for someone earning £30,000, and £505 a year for someone on £50,000.