Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, outlined the Government’s plan to reform social care in the UK.

While we welcome any moves to reform the social care sector, we do not feel that the announcement goes far enough in addressing the current problems facing social care.

The reforms will begin as a 1.25% rise in National Insurance from April 2022, and will be a separate tax on earned income from 2023. This means that low paid care workers, including our own staff, will be among those hit hardest in the pocket. A National Insurance increase will also provide new financial challenges for Leeds Autism Services, and other small to medium sized charities. 

Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said in his response to the announcement: “It is disappointing that the government did not find a better package of tax measures to fund these spending increases. A simple increase in income tax would have been preferable.”

The announcement also comes after years of cuts to social care funding, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies added “the new funding will be insufficient to fully address [the cuts].”

The impact of cuts on pay and terms & conditions has created a crisis in relation to staff retention and recruitment. There are currently over 100,000 job vacancies in the social care sector, and local authorities simply do not receive enough funding to allow care providers to pay staff at an equivalent rate to other public sector workers. It is difficult to see how the current proposals will resolve this crisis.

Better pay for social care, does not just mean a better deal for our staff. It means better quality support for our beneficiaries and better value for the whole country. A properly funded social care system takes pressure off the NHS and other services; it is not just spending, it is valuable investment. The social care sector contributes £46bn to the economy, and creates 1.65m jobs every year.

The current proposals are too little, too late, and while any reform is positively recieved, we will continue to campaign for a better deal for the people we support, and the dedicated staff who provide that support. 

Pete Hughes
Chief Executive
8th September 2021

If you really want to see a better deal for people who need care and support, and for the staff who provide these essential services, please support the #BetterPay4SocialCare campaign, and sign our petition.

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You can also help us to continue improving the lives of autistic adults and their families, by making a donation today.

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