Supporting People budget reduced
The government has promised to protect vulnerable people despite cutting Supporting People funding by 11.5 per cent, to £6 billion.
In today’s comprehensive spending review it states: ‘Funding for services that support the most vulnerable in society will be relatively protected, with provision for Disabled Facilities Grants rising with inflation and over £6 billion funding for the Supporting People programme over the spending review period.’
The Supporting People budget will not be ringfenced, and there are fears that as local government will no longer have to account for how its expenditure is supporting the most vulnerable, councils will make bigger cuts as other resources are reduced.
The review has also allocated £2 billion a year of additional funding by 2014/15 to social care, £1 billion of which will come from the NHS.
The report says: ‘The government will aim to break down the barriers between health and social care funding through new approaches including reablement services provided by the NHS.’
Mr Osborne said the funding ‘will also enable local authorities to deliver the necessary efficiency savings, reforms and service improvements’ and ‘put social care services on a stable footing for the entire spending review period’.
However, the government will be removing the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for people in residential care, where such costs are already met from public funds. It is thought this will save £135 million a year by 2014/15.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: ‘The government has repeatedly said it wants to protect the vulnerable and yet these cuts could see services and support for the disabled, the elderly, and domestic abuse victims all potentially reduced or withdrawn.
‘It is vital that cash strapped local authorities are totally transparent on what services they will fund and how their local area budget is meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.’