NEW analysis reveals crippling cuts that will be forced on key frontline services including adult social care in the North West if the government continues to back-track on their pledge to support councils in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Local authorities are by far the largest funder of adult social care in England. They now face a £10 billion coronavirus black hole, forcing cuts across the board, indicating a £3.5 billion cut to adult social care this year.

New evidence, based on 2019/20 budget estimates, local authorities’ coronavirus-related costs and income losses, and adult social care budget data from the Kings Fund and Department for Health and Social Care shows:

  • A £10 billion coronavirus black hole for local authorities would mean £3.5 billion cut to social care: On 2020/21 budgets 21 per cent cuts across local authority budgets would mean £3.5 billion to adult social care as well cuts of £2 billion to children’s social care and £700 million to public health.
  • Equivalent of 225,000 adult social care places severely reduced or gone altogether: A £3.5 billion cut in local authority adult social care spending is the equivalent of 176,000 long-term adult social care places for over 65s, and 23,000 short-term places.
  • 35,928 places would go in the North West alone.
  • Other key services would be at risk of cuts if the government fails to plug the funding gap, including libraries, children’s centres, leisure centres, public parks, road safety, road gritting and street lighting.

Trafford Council leader, Cllr Andrew Western, said: “Trafford residents will find these figures terrifying.

“Everyone in this community knows the sacrifice and the loss we have endured through the coronavirus crisis, and we all know the enormous strain on our carers, and our friends and family who rely on their care.

“It is beyond belief that the government is not standing by them in their hour of need.

“35,928 vulnerable people losing care across the North West would be a hammer blow.

“As Leader of Trafford Council my team and I will do whatever we can to shield those most in need from these cuts, but the reality is that if ministers don’t fulfil their promise and close the £10bn funding gap then frontline services will bear the brunt and our community will suffer.”

Shadow Communities and Local Government secretary Steve Reed MP said: “Carers and our loved ones they care for are on the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus.

“Local authorities are the biggest funders of social care in England – so when the Government promised to stand behind councils through this crisis Labour supported them.

“But now Ministers are breaking that promise, leaving councils with a £10bn black hole forcing 21% cuts across the board. Unless the Government drops those plans the frontline heroes we’re cheering today will lose their jobs tomorrow and the equivalent of 225,000 frail and frightened older people and vulnerable adults will lose the support they rely on.

“That would be a catastrophe for social care, disastrous for those who lose support as providers are forced out of business, and would once again fail the very people putting their lives on the line to get us through this crisis”

“This government promised to do whatever it takes – if our loved ones see care taken away in their hour of need it will be devastating and unacceptable. The Government should change course, now.”

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