CIPFA calls for more taxes to be ploughed into social care and health

16 Mar 18

Social care and health could benefit from a £14bn boost if an increased proportion of government cash was funnelled towards it, CIPFA has said.

By increasing the proportion of centrally collected taxes going to social care and health from 22% to 24% a “more stable and adequate means of long-term planning” could be achieved, the institute said in a submission to a joint select committee inquiry.

“Public funding has not kept pace with the demographic demands” and “the right long-term investments are not being made to the extent required”, CIPFA wrote to the health and communities and local government inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care.

It suggested finding “a mechanism, such as setting a minimum percentage of GDP or tax take to be spent on health and social care”.

“For example, setting the tax take dedicated to social care and health at 24% rather than the current 22% would enable an extra £14bn to be invested, which is in line with CIPFA’s assessment of what the system is likely to need,” the submission stated.  

However, the institute said it would not ask for the money to be ring fenced because “councils were best-placed to prioritise their spending”.

CIPFA also asked for spending programmes that support older people, such as the triple-lock on pensions and Winter Fuel Allowance, to be reconsidered, “reallocating funds based on need and effectiveness”.

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA chief executive, said: “No stone should be left unturned.

“The government must have the courage to evaluate current spending programmes, such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, in terms of their effectiveness and question whether money could perhaps be better spent elsewhere.”

He also said the social care green paper, due to be published this summer, was “our best hope at ensuring there will be a long-term solution to the social care funding crisis”.

He added: “It is vital that the government seize the opportunity to make real and lasting change by exploring more radical funding options. Including, increasing the sector’s tax take.”

The inquiry is being held ahead of the green paper to identify reforms that “will command broad consensus”.

The deadline for written submissions was Wednesday last week.

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