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Social Care

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 25th February 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:29 pm, 25th February 2020

I am going to make some progress and talk about the long-term solutions we are seeking on social care. For all its many strengths, it is clear that the system cannot remain as it is. Three out of four over-65s will face some care costs in their lifetime, and approximately one in 10 will face lifetime costs of more than £100,000. We need a long-term funding solution, so that the system can continue to do all that we ask of it long into the future. Crucially, we need a solution that solves the problem, commands the widest possible support and stands the test of time. We know in this House that that challenge has been ducked for many years; we have had more than a dozen commissions, reviews and reports, and more than two decades of inaction, from Governments of all political stripes. We do not need another commission —we need a plan. So in our manifesto we set out our three-point plan to solve the crisis, as referred to in our amendment tonight, which I hope the whole House will support.

The first point is to deliver the funding that is needed now to stabilise the system. The funding will provide certainty for local authorities and providers while we put in place the long-term solution. At the last spending round, we said that would make an extra £1.5 billion available in 2020-21. That includes £1 billion of additional grant funding and the 2% adult social care precept, allowing councils access to a further half a billion pounds. Overall, that is part of a 4.4% real-terms increase in local authority core spending in 2021, and that spending comes on top of £2.5 billion in existing social care grants that will be maintained. All in all, our investment since 2015 has allowed an 11% cash-terms rise in social care spending by councils. So the amount of money going into the system is going up, and I am very glad about that, but clearly further progress needs to be made.