CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, has urged the government to funnel more tax towards social care and re-evaluate the effectiveness of existing spending programmes, such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, as part of its social care Green Paper wish list.
Its wish list, which is part of a submission made to the select committees on health and on local government, includes the following:
- Setting the tax take dedicated to health and social care at 24%, rather than the current 22%, to enable an extra £14bn to be invested.
- Revisit all the spending programmes that support older people, such as the triple-lock on pensions and the Winter Fuel Allowance, and consider reallocating funds based on need and effectiveness.
- Protect individuals from the possibility of very high social care costs by finding a means of pooling risks.
- Direct funding, introduce incentives and sharpen reporting arrangements in ways that encourage the preventative actions in order to maximise longer-term sustainability.
- Review the imbalance between social care, as a largely paid-for service, and health, which is an essentially free service.
Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive,CIPFA, commented:
“The Green Paper is our best hope at ensuring there will be a long-term solution to the social care funding crisis. So it is vital that the government seizes the opportunity to make real and lasting change by exploring more radical funding options, including increasing the sector’s tax take.
“No stone should be left unturned. The government must have the courage to evaluate current spending programmes, such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, in terms of their effectiveness and question whether money could perhaps be better spent elsewhere.”
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Notes to editors
Please contact the press office for a copy of CIPFA’s response to Commons Select Committees on Health and on Communities and Local Government.