Britain’s two largest Jewish charities have welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of £2billion in extra funding for social care – but said it is nowhere near enough.
Jewish Care and Norwood were swift to acknowledge the extra monies made available in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget on Wednesday, but were sceptical that it would make much difference.
Hammond allocated £2billion for adult social care over the next three years, but the Jewish charities said the Government needed to go further and announce plans to secure long-term funding.
“Further steps must be taken to ensure providers can continue to deliver front-line services,” said a spokeswoman for social care charity Norwood. “Local authorities pay for these services through allocated Government funds, so insufficient funds affect the services the charity is able to provide.”
Norwood chief executive Elaine Kerr said that while the extra money was welcome, “the Chancellor has not indicated how the Government intends to close the substantial budget deficit the sector faces in the long-term”.
She added: “If this is not addressed, the adults we support through residency and supported living may find the local Government care packages cut even further and see their care suffer as a result.”
Arguing that “it is not just about money but strategy,” Jewish Care concurred, with the charity’s chief executive Simon Morris less than optimistic that Hammond’s announcement would make much difference to front-line providers.
“The headlines in tomorrow’s papers will look good for social care,” he said, “but I have been in this sector for too long now to know that behind them there is little there that will make a difference for independent social care operators like us.”
He added: “Local authority funding for each care home resident has pretty much remained static for the best part of a decade whilst costs have increased above inflation due to increased levels of frailty and increasing government legislation including the introduction of the National Living Wage”.
Jewish Care would input into an upcoming Green Paper on the future of adult social care, he said, adding: “There is no magic fix. Our country can’t afford to meet current or future social care funding needs. We as a community will need to continue to invest in our social care services to ensure that we can provide for all regardless of their ability to pay.”