Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:04 pm on 22nd February 2017.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party, Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) 4:04 pm, 22nd February 2017

My hon. Friend has taken a number of opportunities of late to champion his local authority in the difficulties that it faces—not only for now, but in the long term. The situation he describes in Coventry is mirrored up and down the country. It is time that Ministers grasped the seriousness of the situation.

The LGA has made clear that the continued underfunding of social care is making it impossible for many local authorities to fulfil their legal duties under the Care Act 2014, leaving open the prospect of a whole series of costly court challenges. It is true that some money, £240 million, has been switched from the new homes bonus to fund social care, but when serious analysts suggest that £1.3 billion is needed urgently now to stabilise the social care system and that the funding gap for social care is expected to reach £2.6 billion by 2020, it is difficult to find anyone, even in the Government’s own party, who thinks Ministers are on track to sort the social care challenges that our country faces.

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