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DCLG: cash 'recycling' will address demographic pressures

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The government has released details of how funding will be “recycled” around local government in order to support social care users.

An equality assessment of the local government finance settlement provides confirmation that reforms to the new homes bonus to offer more support to social care will “not affect the overall level of funding available to local government”.

The Department for Communities & Local Government document says changes to the new homes bonus will offer £240m in 2017-18 to support councils delivering social care “to be allocated according to the adult social care relative needs formula”.

“The impact of this recycling of funding could be expected to provide additional funding for areas with higher social needs care which we might expect will include areas with greater numbers of elderly or disabled residents,” the paper, by policy advisor Charles Coleman, states.

The move to increase the maximum size of the social care precept to 3% on bills could raise £208m in 2017-18 but – due to the stipulation that it cannot increase by more than 6% over the next three years – “bills will be no higher in 2019-20 as a result”.

The local government finance settlement also confirms funding levels for the improved better care fund: £105m in 2017-18, £825m in 2018-19, and £1.5bn in 2019-20.

According to the paper: “The allocation of the iBCF recognises that authorities have varying capacity to raise council tax, and therefore uses a methodology which provides greater funding to those authorities which benefit less from the additional council tax flexibility for social care.”

It adds: “Taken together, these measures provide significant resources to address the demographic pressures facing the adult social care system which provides support to elderly residents and adults with disabilities.”

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