Blackpool’s £4m social care hope from Budget

Simon Blackburn
Simon Blackburn
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The Chancellor’s Budget announcement of £2bn to help tackle the social care crisis could see Blackpool get an extra £4m this year.

Welcoming the announcement Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn said it was a “small but significant step” to helping with the ever increasing bill – but a proper solution was needed in a Government Green Paper study later this year.

He said: “The LGA, with the very full and active support of Blackpool Council, has been leading efforts to highlight the significant pressures facing adult social care and I am pleased that the Government has started to act on our concerns.

“I am clear however that councils must have full flexibility over how they use this funding – which in Blackpool’s case looks like it will be around £4m this year, £2.5m next year, and £1m in 2019/20.

“As helpful as the announcement is, short-term pressures remain and the challenge of finding a long-term solution to the social care crisis is far from over.

“To close the funding gap facing social care additional funding needs to be recurrent and put into local government baselines – which as far as I can see, isn’t going to be the case, although the devil will be in the detail. The publication of a Green Paper will be vital to securing sustainable, long-term funding for the sector.”

In other reaction, Stewart Case, from Jones Harris chartered accountants, in Fleetwood said it was a neutral budget with an eye on Brexit: “It will please the markets, who the government need to see stable before the triggering of Article 50.

“Some slight surprises insofar that the self-employed are being targeted with the NI increase and effectively company directors are also being hit with the reduction in the tax free dividend allowance.

“Both these could influence the drive in the labour market and act as a disincentive to grow business.”

Lee Petts, chairman of the Institute of Directors’ Lancashire branch said: “We hope that the announcements including measures to improve the impact of business rates reliefs and investment into local broadband networks will help to boost confidence and encourage our members to continue with investment.”

See Also: Fylde coast react to budget