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Local Government White Paper calls for improved carer pay

Local Government leaders have called for renewed focus on prevention and recovery services, as well as improved care worker pay in a new White Paper.

In the manifesto, the Local Government Association calls on parliamentary candidates to work towards the development of a prevention grant for councils, with spend determined by council. The aim is to expand the provision of short-term care beyond supporting hospital discharge, though the provision of reablement in supported housing services.

In terms of care worker pay, the LGA white paper calls for a rethink of how pay, terms and conditions are determined.  It says: “One-off increases in pay and/or retention bonuses would help, but we need a long-term plan for the care workforce.

“If a living wage for care workers was publicly funded, just under half (47 per cent) of public costs would be returned to the Exchequer through higher personal tax receipts and lower benefit payments.”

The paper also calls for robust commissioning arrangements to ensure that the commissioning system does not create two tier systems and lead to disagreements between councils, the NHS and the care sector.

It describes the financial position of adult social care as “seriously challenging”.

Surveys by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services show that 63 per cent of councils overspent on their adult social care budgets in 2022/23. Of these, the proportion using their reserves to fund overspends increased from 37 per cent in 2021/22 to 72 per cent in 2022/23. It concludes: “One-off funding to service recurrent spending is unsustainable.”  


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