What will be in today’s Budget for social care? In the words of magician Paul Daniels, “not a lot”.
The focus has thus far been on stamp duty, fuel duty and measures to help business and stimulate the fragile recovery. It will also be setting the stage for the financial/economic debates in the forthcoming election. Social care hasn’t really had a look in.
From what I can glean, reading around various predictions and what has come from Whitehall so far, the only measure that will directly affect people in receipt of social care is a possible rise in benefits.
While the rises are only expected to be small – 2% on pensions, 1.5% on other benefits – at least the government hasn’t stuck to its usual formula of basing the raise on the RPI inflation rate; last September it stood at -1.4%.
However, I suspect these rises won’t be met with much joy. With the cost of living increasing at the moment – notably food, utilities and fuel – the raise won’t cover it.
Elsewhere, I wonder if the Chancellor will make any reference to the proposed National Care Service or the white paper on adult social care funding – rumoured to be published this week – in his funding plans.
There has been very little mention of this in the pre-Budget build-up, but if the white paper is coming, the Chancellor may give some pointers when he outlines where funds will be going in the coming months.
I will be watching the Budget with interest and will blog and Twitter on this later in the day.