It is vitally important that, as people get older, they are able to access high quality dignified care.
I can assure you that the Government recognises the current pressures facing local areas, including Keighley. Local authorities are being given additional funding and flexibility so that they will have access to an additional £3.5 billion by 2020, providing a real terms increase in funding by the end of this Parliament. On 15 December, the Government also announced greater flexibility over the use of the council tax social care precept, so that councils can choose to raise extra money. Savings from the New Homes Bonus, totalling £240 million, will be retained by councils for social care. Taken together, this means almost an additional £900 million will be made available over the next two years.
Money alone will not fix the problem and ministerial colleagues are clear that far-reaching reform is needed to encourage high standards across the whole country. Some councils are already providing high quality social care within their existing budgets, showing that reform can be achieved and half of all delayed discharges from hospital to home arise in just 24 local authorities. The Communities Secretary, Health Secretary and others across Government will work to ensure that long-term we have a sustainable system of social care for everyone that needs it. Be assure that both as a minister and Keighley MP, I will give them my full and active support.