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Care Funding Black Hole

A leading think tank has warned of a £4bn “hole” in our social care plans.


Four years ago the Conservative government announced a plan that would put a cap on the amount someone has to pay for care costs throughout their lifetime and Labour has given no indication that it proposes to change these arrangements


But the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has reported that the money initially set aside to implement the reforms has already been spent on other priorities and would need to be found again.


The reforms were set to be introduced in 2023. That was delayed until October 2025, but councils were allowed to keep the money.


“So whilst at one stage it was funding set aside for social care reform,” said David Phillips, head of local government finance at the IFS, “that isn't there now”.


Instead, the money has been used by local authorities on “existing pressures” or “rolled into the overall tight spending envelopes”.


Mr Phillips said that without extra funding, the money would need to come from the existing budgets of central or local government, which he said could lead to “some very tricky choices for councils if it isn't funded – tax rises, cuts to other services or removing social care services from some existing recipients”.


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