A new Fabian Society report today reveals that spending on support for older people in England will need to rise by £35 billion to meet frail pensioners’ support and care needs by 2030. Annual increases of 7.5 per cent are required to meet this goal – far more than the extra promised by ministers for the NHS’s 70th birthday.
The research finds that £15 billion extra will be required by 2030 just to cope with the rising number of older people – even without improving the quality or quantity of services which are widely seen to be in crisis. That translates into spending increases of 3.8 per cent each year and would leave the help on offer no better than it is today.
For the first time the figures look at all the forms of help older people with support and care needs receive from government not just services from local councils. The numbers reveal the true costs of supporting pensioners in England as the population grows older, including care homes, home care, disability benefits, supported housing, rehabilitation and home adaptations.
The research findings form one part of a new Fabian Society report published today. Take Good Care brings together the new Fabian Society analysis along with policy proposals from 11 experts in older people’s care including Barbara Keeley MP, Labour’s shadow cabinet minister for social care. It is supported by Age UK and Hanover Housing Association. The report argues that to address the challenges of ageing, the left needs to view the social care debate as one part of a wider discussion on public spending for older people with support needs.
Key Fabian Society research findings published in Take Good Care
- Public spending on support and care for older people in England needs to rise by over £15 billion by 2030 – from £25bn today to £40 bn in 2030 in today’s prices – just to keep up with rising need
- To achieve this spending will need to rise by 3.8 per cent every year – more than the government has just promised to the NHS.
- These estimates are based only on health and demographic projections so they assume current patterns of provision continue even though they are totally inadequate today.
- To fully meet all older people’s support needs by 2030 would require spending to rise by £35 billion – from £25bn now to around £60bn in today’s prices.
- In annual terms this is equivalent to a real rise in spending of 7.5 per cent a year
Estimated extra spending required to provide support and care to older people by 2030 in response to rising need
|Continuing healthcare*||£4.4 bn|
|Home care||£3.5 bn|
|Care homes||£2.4 bn|
|Intermediate healthcare||£1.5 bn|
|Disability benefits||£1.2 bn|
|Social care assessment and community services||£1.0 bn|
|Supported housing||£0.8 bn|
|Free nursing care*||£0.5 bn|
|Equipment and adaptations*||£0.2 bn|
* figure is for all age groups but most of the budget is spent on older people
Report editor and Fabian Society General Secretary Andrew Harrop writes:
“The truth is that a lot more money needs to be spent on meeting older needs. The Fabian Society has reviewed existing projections and found that just to maintain current levels of provision across key programmes public spending in England will need to rise from £25bn now to £40bn in 2030 – or from 1.2 per cent of GDP to 1.8 per cent. This is equivalent to an increase in real spending of 3.8 per cent every year.
“These estimates are based only on health and demographic projections so they assume current patterns of provision continue even though they are totally inadequate today. In other words, the figures roll forward the huge recent cuts in the numbers receiving home care, the inadequate size of many care packages, the underfunding of care homes and the undersupply of supported housing.
“The Fabian Society calculates that to fully meet all needs by 2030 would require spending to rise from £25bn now to around £60bn in today’s prices (ie from 1.2 per cent of GDP to 2.8 per cent). In annual terms this is equivalent to a real rise in spending of 7.5 per cent a year – and that is with a system that still remains in part mean-tested.
“This is the level of spending required to provide help to 1.2 million low-income older people currently without adequate support for essential daily tasks, extend NHS rehabilitation services to all who could benefit, address the existing under resourcing of state-funded care home places, invest in community services to improve wellbeing and tackle isolation and increase the supply of rented sheltered housing.”
– Ends –
Rabyah Khan, media and communications manager at the Fabian Society | 0207 227 4906 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Take Good Care can be viewed here. An accompanying paper with full research findings and sources is available here.
- This report represents not the collective views of the organisations involved but only the views of the individual authors.
- Age UK is a national charity that works with a network of partners, including Age Scotland, Age Cymru, Age NI and local Age UKs across England, to help everyone make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances.
- Hanover is one of the leading national providers of supported housing for older people, managing some 19,500 homes in approximately 600 locations across England and Wales.
- The full list of contributors to this report is: Barbara Keeley MP (shadow minister for mental health and social care), Andrew Harrop (general secretary of the Fabian Society), David Walker (contributing editor, Guardian Public), Lord Geoffrey Filkin (chair of the Centre for Ageing Better), Dame Clare Tickell (chief executive of Hanover), Heather Wakefield (head of local government at UNISON), Caroline Abrahams (charity director of Age UK), Helena Herklots (chief executive of Carers UK), Eileen Burns (president of the British Geriatrics Society), Jim McMahon MP (shadow minister for devolution), and Linda Thomas (leader of Bolton Council).
- The Fabian Society is Britain’s oldest political think tank. Founded in 1884, the Society is at the forefront of developing political ideas and public policy on the left. The society is alone among think tanks in being a democratically-constituted membership organisation, with over 7,000 members. It is constitutionally affiliated to the Labour party.