On Tuesday (14th March) I participated in a Westminster Hall debate on the Health and Social Care Budgets. The health budget is £120 billion while we currently spend £14.4 billion on social care. These sound like big numbers but are a drop in the proverbial ocean with demand continually rising.
The funding to local government is inadequate. While the 3% precept is helpful those of us in rural areas will have to pay more as we pay more council tax overall compared to those in urban areas. The £2 billion the Chancellor promised in the Budget is very welcome as well but as many other members explained during the debate it is too little and we need a proper review.
I was told the Minister that the Government must face up to the problem of fair funding for rural areas. The disproportionate number of over 85s and rural sparsity mean that health costs in areas such as ours are higher than in urban areas.
The Minister, Philip Dunne reiterated the Government’s commitment to the funding long term social care and looking at how this can be done in the upcoming Green Paper this summer. He also applauded the large number of Devon MPs who were present at the debate.
Watch the debate here: https://goo.gl/rs6ghx
Read the transcript on Hansard here: https://goo.gl/Y1m6uF