Responding to the Joint Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny report on the draft Care and Support Bill report, Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope, said:
“There can be no stronger warning from the Committee that the Government’s social care reforms will not guarantee disabled people the care and support they desperately need.
“The only solution is to address the funding crisis.
“Almost 40% of disabled people are already telling us that there social care does not cover the basics in life including being able to eat properly, wash, dress and leave their homes.
“Social care for disabled people is already underfunded to the tune of £1.2 billion and councils are already struggling to cope.
“If the Government is serious about listening to the committee’s recommendation of better care early on life, not just when people are in crisis, it needs to urgently address the £1.2 billion social care funding black hole in disabled people’s care.
“A Care and Support Bill that does not go hand in hand with extra funding is at risk of failing disabled people.
“It the Government does not heed the warning of the Committee, it not only risks its aspirations for disabled people’s wellbeing but ultimately could condemn disabled people to a life without basic dignity and invisible from society.”
Ahead of the Budget, the Chancellor announced plans to set a social care funding cap of £72,000.
The introduction of a funding cap has been referred to by the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt MP as offering people “certainty and peace of mind”.
The £72,000 funding cap on social care only applies to ‘eligible needs’. Dilnot recommended that eligibility for care be set at “substantial needs of higher”. This means those with moderate or basic needs could see no limit to the amount of money they spend on social care.
The Joint Committee goes as far as to say that they received significant evidence to suggest setting national eligibility at “substantial” was too high.
In January, The Other Care Crisis revealed a £1.2 billion funding gap in care and support for disabled people. The research also found that setting eligibility at ‘substantial’ could risk 105,000 disabled people failing to get basic support for their day-to-day lives.