A £2.5 billion shortfall in social care funding?

Published: 14th Dec 2016

In brief


There’s a £2.5 billion shortfall in social care funding.


The Local Government Association estimates a £2.6 billion gap in funding for adult social care by 2020. Other experts agree there’s a gap.

“The £2.5 billion shortfall in social care funding”

Tim Farron MP, 14 December 2016

“The shortfall in social care funding by 2020 is estimated at about £2.5 billion a year"

Philip Davies MP, 14 December 2016

It’s correct that there will be a shortfall in social care funding of around this much, according to several different expert estimates.

The Liberal Democrat press office told us that this particular figure comes from the Local Government Association, which is predicting that adult social care will need £2.6 billion more by 2020.

That £2.6 billion is made up of an immediate need and some projected costs. It estimated a £1.3 billion gap between what care providers say they need and what councils spent last year, and another £1.3 billion for extra costs due to inflation, an aging population and the new National Living Wage rate of £7.20.

The LGA says it takes into account the government’s promises of extra funding through the Better Care Fund and the optional council tax rise, but not other potential pressures from policy changes or unmet needs.

A group of leading health charities calculated a similar figure. It compared projected needs with projected spending and found a gap of at least £1.9 billion in 2017/18 and £2.3 billion by 2020.

Similarly, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services says that the additional funding gap by then will be £2.9 billion.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.

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