MP calls for changes to social care system

Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake.
Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake.

Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake has called for a new cross-party approach to the funding of adult social care.

Mr Hollinrake said that there is simply not enough money in the system to provide for our future needs, especially those involving children’s services and social care, which is amongst the greatest challenges faced by North Yorkshire County Council.

The MP, who is a member of the Housing Communities and Local Government Select Committee, urged the Government to adopt a system that emerged from a joint inquiry with the Health and Social Care committee which recommended a solution similar to the one adopted by the Germans in 1995 when they realised that their current funding formula was unsustainable.

Mr Hollinrake argued that the current funding formula does not work and is, in any case, unfair to the North where, for example, North Yorkshire County Council has about 30% less spending power compared with some London authorities.

He said that governments of all political persuasions have struggled to balance the books and that it is not possible to keep spending more that we are getting in.

He said that the harsh reality is that we “either we find a new way of doing this, or local authorities will provide many fewer services in future”.

He said: “We have some massive challenges ahead that we will all have to accept: the cost of healthcare that we are going to provide; the cost of pensions that we are going to have to provide; and the costs of social care.

“As things are at the moment, all this is going to land on the taxpayer. It does not seem feasible that this situation can continue, particularly in the area of social care.

“We know there is a funding gap for local authorities of about £3 billion, which will rise to about £8 billion within five years, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).”