Poll of pensioners says Chancellor must prioritise health and social care funding
Leading pensioner campaigners have welcomed reports that the Chancellor will set out a plan for tackling the social care crisis in the upcoming Budget.
The strength of pensioners’ demand for urgent action to find sustainable funding for health and social care is underlined by a major poll of over 1,400 pensioners carried out by Later Life Ambitions, a campaign group that represents over a quarter of a million pensioners.
Respondents said that increasing funding for health and social will make the biggest difference to the lives of pensioners in the UK.
Over 60% of pensioners called for health and social care spending to be prioritised in this week’s Budget above investment in better transport facilities for the elderly, pensions and universal benefits to help tackle the care crisis.
Malcolm Booth, CEO of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, a founding member of Later Life Ambitions, said:
“Later Life Ambitions members have sent a clear message to the Chancellor that he must act on health and social care this week.
“We welcome reports that the Chancellor will provide £1.3bn emergency funding over the next two years, however we also want to see the immediate introduction of the Dilnot recommendations in full.
“We are also pleased with reports that a review will be established to find a long-term solution to the problem of health and social care funding. This must be a cross-party review and have real powers. This review must not be used by the Government as a tool for kicking social care into the long grass again.”
The poll also found that whilst pensioners support local authorities adding a precept to council tax to help fund social care, they would prefer to see councils prioritising savings over rate increases.
Malcolm Booth added:
“Whilst we want to see additional funding streams for social care from central and local government, we need a long-term plan to improve health and social care investment. The council tax precept favours wealthier areas, where income from council tax bills tends to be higher and demand for social care is lower.”
“We want the Government to bring in local government and leaders from the social care sector in to cross-party talks so that everyone is working together to find a long term solution.”