Business Secretary Vince Cable has promised to look into care industry issues raised at a meeting with Independent Care Group chair, Mike Padgham.
Mr Padgham told the minister that social care deserved better support due to the contribution it makes to the care of older people and its £20 billion contribution to the UK economy.
As a result, Mr Cable has promised to look into why banks are nervous about investing in social care businesses; discuss with the Treasury the issue of social care and VAT; and write to Care Minister Norman Lamb about social care issues.
After the meeting, Mr Padgham (left) said: “It was an excellent opportunity to raise many issues that affect social care and have a minister at a senior level in Government listen to those issues. Mr Cable was very understanding and sympathetic and did promise to take up some of the things we discussed, so it has been a very worthwhile exercise.
“We need to get greater support for social care for the sake of the many, many people who need it to live a full and active life and the many others who work in the sector.”
Mr Padgham told the minister that social care is used by more than 1.8 million people. There are almost 20,500 registered care homes, nursing homes and residential homes in the UK. More than 200,000 people aged over 65 are in residential care funded by their council or the NHS.
Social care businesses are charged VAT for the goods and services they buy but cannot charge VAT themselves and so, unlike other businesses, cannot offset their VAT bill.