On Friday 28 September, MHA responded to the Government's request for Budget representation in regards to reforming the social care sector. HM Treasury have asked for representations with the aim of commenting on government policy and/or suggesting new policy for inclusion in the upcoming Budget.

MHA’s response made the following points:

  1. Britain’s population is ageing but also ageing with more complex needs leading to a growth in demand for social care provision. Doing nothing is no longer an option.

  2. The Government needs to decide, in consultation, whether or not to continue with the current system, albeit increasing provision in line with the projected demand pressure. Alternatively Government could choose to reform the system to address the issues of fairness, and complexity and to protect against catastrophic costs.

  3. It is widely accepted that the current funding model does not work and this needs to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

  4. The Government needs to consider a variety of options for longer-term funding of adult social care which may include taxing income across the general population, taxing higher earners, taxing wealth and taxing or redirecting existing spend on older people.

Dawn Wicks, Policy Manager for MHA commented: "Whilst an ageing population should be celebrated, the increased pressures on adult social care should be acknowledged and planned for appropriately. At MHA, we understand the funding pressures felt across the social care sector and the inequity between self-funders and local authority funding.

"We believe that the Government should explore how to nudge people into better planning for later life. This must go beyond contributing to a pension and financial planning.  It needs to include considerations such as housing, health and care, maintaining or developing support networks to boost independence and resilience as we age.

"We hope that the Government will use the long-awaited Social Care Green Paper to review the options available in terms of future provision. We would like to see the Government lead the discussion about how and what should be provided in terms of social care.

"We also hope that the Government will use the Budget to realistically fund adult social care with a long-term plan that considers fairness and the increasing demands on, and complexity of, the social care sector."

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