Plans for elderly care put essential services ‘at risk’



Frontline services such as social work, meals on wheels and road maintenance may have to be cut to cover the cost of controversial plans for elderly care at home, local authority leaders have warned. The £670 million required to provide free care for those most in need in their own homes — a key government policy — will add pressure to councils already trying to find multimillion-pound savings. A rise in council tax of between 1 and 2 per cent will be needed to meet the cost, while cuts in adult and childrens’ social care services are an ‘unwanted but very real possibility’, council chiefs have said. The draft Bill, set out in the Queen’s Speech in November, was described by Labour peers as an ‘exocet’ on social-care reform and ‘a demolition job’ on budgets, while MPs and care providers have also criticised it for being ill-conceived and uncosted.