Today, the Chancellor announced that local councils will have access to an extra £1 billion funding for social care in the one year spending review.

The Chancellor also announced a 2.2% increase in the national living wage.

Mencap responds to the announcement:

Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, said:

“We are bitterly disappointed for people with a learning disability and their carers. They will continue to be left without support at a time when they need it most. They are at breaking point and can only endure this nightmare for a little bit longer if there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

“Care workers, supporting people with a learning disability and all those others carrying out a difficult and vital role in the national response to coronavirus, deserve way more than this – they have risked their lives to keep people safe and well during this pandemic. We applauded them in the spring and now we have kicked them in the teeth with a paltry increase to the national living wage, when what they really deserve is a pay increase in line with their NHS counterparts. Will the extra funding announced today even cover the costs of the increase in national minimum wage, let alone all the other additional costs being incurred by the social care sector at this most difficult of times?

“But the Government seems to be waiting for the roof to fall in before repairing the leak. We needed emergency funding now and pinned our hopes on the Chancellor’s statement today. A bold plan for social care reform alongside long-term funding for a sustainable future is critical– continuing to kick the can down the road just isn’t good enough.”

Read the full 2020 spending review documents online here:


For further information or to arrange an interview with a Mencap spokesperson or case study, please contact Mencap’s media team on: or 020 7696 5414 (including out of hours).  


Notes to editors: 

1. Mencap is calling for:

  • a clear plan for supporting the whole care market, including services for work-aged disabled adults which currently make up around half of the total social care budget
  • additional funding to meet current demand for support and stabilise the sector
  • a road map towards the Government's plans for social care reform, including a long-term funding solution, fairer access to services and support and workforce reform
  • Social care reform and long-term funding must cover a range of services and support that people with a learning disability need beyond personal care to enable them to lead independent and fulfilling lives in their community.

The social care sector needs at least £7 billion investment a year in social care in England by 2023/24, according to the Health and Social Care Committee. While the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services’ latest Budget Survey revealed that there is a growing hole in local authorities budgets for services supporting people with a learning disability – up to £200m in 2020/21 from £180m in 2019/20.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to local councils in England facing at least a £6.6bn increase in social care costs up to the end of September, according to the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adults Social Services.

About Mencap     

There are approximately 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability, their families and carers by fighting to change laws, improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want:        

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap’s Freephone Learning Disability Helpline on 0808 808 1111 (10am-3pm, Monday-Friday) or email     

What is a learning disability?    

  • A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability which can cause problems with everyday tasks – for example shopping and cooking, or travelling to new places – which affects someone for their whole life;    
  • Learning disability is NOT a mental illness or a learning difficulty, such as dyslexia. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’;     
  • People with a learning disability can take longer to learn new things and may need support to develop new skills, understand difficult information and engage with other people. The level of support someone needs is different with every individual. For example, someone with a severe learning disability might need much more support with daily tasks than someone with a mild learning disability.