Public Accounts Committee express concern over cuts to adult social care

The Public Accounts Committee has this morning published a report expressing concerns over recent cuts to adult social care, noting that there has been an 8% cut in spending on adult social care between 2010/11 and 2012/13, despite the growth in the number of elderly and disabled people. The Committee further expressed concern that local authorities have cut care fees, partly by paying lower fees to providers, leading to very low pay for care workers.

On pay for care workers, the Committee describes the current situation, where less than 220,000 people working in the care sector earn less than the minimum wage, as “appalling”.

The report concludes that, whilst the commitment to improving adult social care is welcome, and the recognition from the Government of the complexities and risks involved, it is stated that “we are not convinced that the responsible bodies will deliver on these ambitions and are concerned that they are raising expectations too high”. It is recommended that responsible departments quantify the new burdens that the Care Act will introduce for local authorities, and establish a “realistic timetable give the financial constraints”.