The announcement detailed how local councils will be allowed to raise the social care precept on council tax by 3% next year, and 3% the following year, as well as announcing that it plans to introduce an Adult Social Care grant over £240m.

We respond to the findings below.

Rossanna Trudgian, Head of Camapigns at Mencap, said:

The Government’s recognition of the funding crisis across the social care sector is long overdue. Today’s announcement is welcome, but increasing the social care precept on council tax is an inadequate measure which will fail to solve the funding crisis.

The effective 1% increase is optional for all local authorities and even if all did enforce this, the money raised would not come close to funding the vital social care services that people with a learning disability need. Councils in poorer areas will struggle to raise enough money and the £240m that is being redirected from the New Homes Bonus will not solve this. It is in these areas that people are most likely to need more access to social care services, meaning yet again, those who are in the greatest need of support are the ones being overlooked.

The lack of funding for the sector means people with a learning disability are struggling to access the care and support they desperately need to ensure they are able to maintain their health, live independent lives and instead are stuck at home becoming increasingly isolated and worried about the future.

At a time when people with a learning disability are facing significant cuts to their benefits, it is more important than ever that the Government develops a robust long term solution to the funding crisis. Solving this, so that people with a learning disability do not have to face the possibility of living without vital social care support any longer support they desperately need to avoid failing into poverty and ill health, is paramount.

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact the Mencap press office on 020 7696 5414 or media@mencap.org.uk or for out of hours 07770 656 659.

About Mencap

There are 1.4 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.

www.mencap.org.uk  

For advice and information about learning disability and Mencap services in your area, contact Mencap Direct on 0808 808 1111 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) or email help@mencap.org.uk.

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.

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.

Learning disability is not a mental illness or a learning difficulty. Very often the term ‘learning difficulty’ is wrongly used interchangeably with ‘learning disability’.