Budget lament is getting louder

Blog Post 30 Nov 2017

The chorus of complaint about Philip Hammond’s approach to our national finances is growing.

Happy to give the banks a break, he then snubbed social care and social services, making it clear that such institutions are far more worthy in his reckoning than needy people.

Comments have ranged from “contemptuous”, “fiddling while Rome burns” to “crimes against humanity”. Clearly, people are angry, perplexed and frustrated at the stance Mr Hammond has taken.

Last week’s Budget was an opportunity for the Chancellor to act in the interests of social care, but he did nothing, ignoring appeals for help.

The majority of care businesses handled by West Midlands Care Association are adult, but I can’t help feeling that children’s social care has also been massively impacted by this Government’s fiscal policies.

Speaking to a social worker, I learn that last year more than 72,000 children were taken into care and the number of child protection cases – some 170,000 – is twice the figure it was seven years ago.

Like social care’s representative bodies, children’s charities and local councils wrote to the Chancellor before the Budget to explain that children’s social care is “being pushed to breaking point.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

And there’s a large breadth of opinion that the reason more children need social care is because of cuts to council budgets.

Central government funding for early intervention has been cut by 55 per cent over the last seven years, representing a cost of £1.7bn, The Independent recently reported.

As with adult social care, the inability to fund the provision for the care needs before us is seeing the threshold for action moved ever upwards.

Economists reckon that Mr Hammond could have found £4.7bn to spend elsewhere in his Budget if he had not cut the bank levy.

Well, at least we know where his priorities lie.

Does anyone know a good anger management counsellor? I think I need one.