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LGA launch social care green paper before the government

Westminster’s long-awaited document has been delayed until the autumn so the Local Government Association has released their own consultation

The Local Government Association (LGA) has become so tired of waiting for the government to publish its social care green paper that they have launched their own.

Whitehall announced that the long-awaited document had been pushed back until the autumn before they broke up for summer recess with Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage, telling the Commons earlier this month: “The health and social care systems are two sides of the same coin, and decisions on future reforms must therefore be aligned.

“That is why we will now publish the green paper in the autumn, around the same time as the NHS plan.”

Building a better society means ensuring that everyone receives the care they need to lead a good life: well, independent and at home for as long as possible. This process must start now

The LGA, a cross-party organisation representing local authorities, opted not to wait until the autumn and unveiled their biggest-ever eight-week consultation on how best to pay for care and support for adults and unpaid carers.

It is hoped that their findings will help make the public a central part of the debate of the debate on social care and will be used to influence the government’s green paper and spending plans.

LGA’s green paper is also aiming to trigger debate on how to shift the emphasis of the health system towards preventative, community-based personalised care to lift the pressure on the NHS.

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Years of significant underfunding of councils, coupled with rising demand and costs for care and support, have combined to push adult social care services to breaking point.

Latest LGA figures estimate that the adult social care services funding gap will hit £3.5bn by 2025 with councils in England receiving 5,000 new care requests every day, stretching budgets thin.

Possible solutions to paying for adult social care in the long-term outlined in the consultation include: increasing income tax for all ages, council tax and national insurance payments, introducing a social care premium and means-tested universal benefits.

“We cannot duck this issue as a society any longer,” said Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board.

“Our green paper is the start of a nationwide public debate about the future of care for all adults, and how best to support their wellbeing, and we encourage as many people and organisations to have their say on how we pay for it and the responsibilities of citizens, families and communities.

Adult social care and support matters. We must fund it for the long-term so that people of all ages can be supported to live the life they want to live. Building a better society means ensuring that everyone receives the care they need to lead a good life: well, independent and at home for as long as possible. This process must start now.”

The Big Issue investigated how social enterprises can help deal with the social care shortfall to coincide with the 70thanniversary of the NHS in early July.

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