Somerset County Council is joining a nationwide call for more funding for social care services.
It is supporting lobbying by the national Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) to address the shortfall in funding for adult social care services. Adults social care services provide vital care and support for older and vulnerable people, including social work support, care home and nursing placements and care in the home.
A research report published today by ADASS highlights that the 2% tax precept to fund adult social care will generate less than two thirds of the funding needed to cover the introduction of the National Living Wage this year.
In Somerset the 2% tax precept introduced in April will raise £3.8m in 2016/17 but the extra cost of the National Living Wage is estimated to cost £5.2m. This leaves the County Council with a funding shortfall of £1.4m on top of increasing demand for adult social care services.
ADASS state that there is a national funding gap of around £940m just to keep services operating at the same level as last year.
Cllr William Wallace, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “We fully support the national call for fairer funding for adult social care services from central Government. Year on year we have seen an increase in the number of people needing support from our services and we simply don’t have the funding to cover the costs.
“We are working hard to make efficiencies and manage demand for our services but with the increased cost of the National Living Wage and with more people needing costly support it is extremely challenging to balance our budget.
“We welcome ADASS’ research report and it’s lobbying of government to recognise that we need investment in our adult social care services to provide the care that vulnerable people in our communities need.”