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What is the Adults' Care and Support Charging Policy?
Adult Social Care is not a free service, the Adults’ Care and Support Charging Policy is the document which details how the Council assesses a service user’s finances to find out how much, if any, they should be contributing towards the cost of their care package.
Why are the proposed changes to the policy needed?
In 2011, Barking and Dagenham Council introduced a more comprehensive charging policy for Adult Social Care, in response to Government guidance on the charging system. This policy was last reviewed and amended in 2015, following the introduction of the Care Act 2014.
When reviewing the current policy, we have identified some problems with its operation and that some parts are not clearly defined. We are now proposing to make changes to the policy to address these and, at the same time, make the policy easier for people to understand, and for us to administer.
Why do you need to generate extra income?
Since 2015 the Council has been forced to cut a further £63m from its yearly running costs which has had a significant effect on the funds available for all services. The Government have not yet announced a long-term solution to the shortfall in the funding for Adult Social Care which has now reached crisis levels. As a short term measure the Government have allowed Councils to raise Council Tax rates to help ease the pressure of funding these services, which we have done, but there is still a significant shortfall.
In addition to the shortfall in funding for Adult Social Care the cost of delivering these services is also increasing. The National Living Wage (NLW) was introduced in 2016 and in that time the minimum wage for people aged 25 and over has increased from £7.20 to £8.21 an hour and this is expected to increase to £9 an hour by April 2020. Although we believe that these increases were greatly needed it has placed a significant impact on the cost of social care services.
In addition to the NLW, the introduction of the national auto enrolment Workplace Pension Scheme has also increased costs. In 2017 employers had to pay in 1% of their employees’ salary in if they wished to remain in the scheme, this has now risen to 3%.
How can I have my say on the proposals?
You can let us know your thoughts on the proposals by either completing the online survey or attending public meetings dedicated to this consultation process.
How do I talk to the council about this?
You can contact the council via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 020 8227 2278.