Social care funding

Last updated: 14 Dec 2016

In brief


£4.6 billion was cut from the adult social care budget in the last parliament.


Correct according to the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

“We have been putting more money into social care and health”

Theresa May, 14 December 2016

“The Prime Minister doesn’t seem to be aware that £4.6 billion was cut from the social care budget in the last parliament”

Jeremy Corbyn, 14 December 2016

It’s correct that spending on adult social care fell in the last parliament. Because the funding system is complicated, there are a number of different ways to measure this, one of which supports Mr Corbyn’s specific claim.

By contrast, funding is expected to rise in this parliament, taking inflation into account, although not until 2017. That said, experts from the Nuffield Trust, Health Foundation and King’s Fund warn this won’t be enough to make the system sustainable.

Mr Corbyn is referring to day-to-day spending by local councils in his claim, using estimates from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

An ADASS report in June 2015, based on a survey of its members (almost all of whom responded) found that there had been a £4.6 billion reduction in adult social care budgets between 2010/11 and 2015/16.

It only put £1.6 billion of this down to cash reductions. The balance was down to more older and disabled people needing care (£1.75 billion) and price pressures (£1.25 billion).

Mrs May, meanwhile, is talking about more recent changes to funding. In 2015 the government announced changes, including a ‘social care precept’ allowing councils to raise council tax by up to 2% a year to fund social care, and putting more central government money into the ‘Better Care Fund’ designed to help the NHS and councils coordinate social care.

Projections suggest spending will rise over this parliament, although that depends on how much councils decide to and manage to raise.

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


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