Responding to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s Budget statement on 22nd November 2017, chief executive of United Response, Tim Cooper, said:

“Today’s Budget was reminiscent of the dog that did not bark: singularly silent on how the Government will avert the funding crisis enveloping services for people with learning disabilities.

“The Chancellor clearly stated that his Budget set out a clear vision to make Britain ‘a civilised and tolerant place that cares for the vulnerable and nurtures the talented’. Today’s omission by Chancellor is a sad indictment of this Government’s priorities, for these very people. It does nothing to reduce anxiety for people with the most complex needs, and those talented individuals who care for them.

“The Chancellor’s failure to address either the immediate funding gap that it has created around ‘sleep-in’ shifts or the longer term funding of services for people with learning disabilities, is deeply worrying.  

“Through this Budget the Government continues to assume that it can fund the retrospective liability for sleep-in shifts largely by raiding the charitable reserves that organisations like United Response have prudently accrued. It provides no relief for providers, local authorities and disabled people on personal budgets, who are compelled to find £400m retrospective liability for care staff, despite this situation being created by Government’s own ambiguous guidance and funding failures.

“This shambolic situation represents the gravest challenge to social care that I have witnessed in my 30 years within the sector.

“Raising the wages for our valued social care workers is essential, but the Government must ensure that local authorities receive sufficient additional investment to pay for this.

“It is disingenuous for Government to suggest that the welcome additional funding provided for social care this year has been allocated for learning disability services and to head off the ‘sleep-in crisis’ – it has inevitably been absorbed by the demands of the older person’s sector.

“Just as last week’s announcement of a long awaited Green Paper on social care excluded disabled adults, people with learning disabilities and complex needs have again been swept under the carpet in this Budget.”

Tim Cooper, chief executive, United Response