Local authorities will face an extra £1.3bn of funding cuts, which will mostly impact on social care services, official data has revealed.
Nearly half (168) of all councils in the country are likely to reduce most of their spending on adult and children’s social care services, as they will no longer benefit from the Revenue Support Grant funding from next year – leading to a £1.3bn funding reduction.
The Revenue Support Grant is a Government grant given to councils to help them fund services. On Monday, health and social care secretary Matt Hancock announced that adult social care will receive £240m ahead of the winter pressures.
Potential cuts to social care
According to figures published by the Local Governement Association (LGA), local authorities are set to spend a total of £30.5m on social care in 2019/20 – £18.5m for adults and £12m for children’s services.
The total costs for local authorities is predicted to be £52.7bn, including homelessness, public health and all other services funded from core spending.
As nearly 60% (57.5%) of councils spending is on social care, it is likely that the £1.3bn funding cut will have the greatest impact on social care services – unless councils decide to find savings in other areas.
The LGA calculated that local authorities will face a £2.6bn funding gap for social care next year, reaching £3.9bn when homelessness support is taken into account.
‘Pushing councils to the limit’
LGA’s Resources Board chair Councillor Richard Watts said that ‘unprecedented funding pressures and demand for social care and homelessness services is ‘pushing councils to the limit’.
He added: ‘Losing a further £1.3bn of central government funding at this time is going to tip many councils over the edge. Many local authorities will reach the point where they only have the funds to provide statutory responsibilities and it will be our local communities and economies who suffer the consequences.
‘Investing in local government is good for the nation’s prosperity, economic growth and for the health and wellbeing of our nation. It will boost economic growth, reduce demand for services and save money for the taxpayer and other parts of the public sector.’