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Social Services: Finance

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 29 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she made of recent trends in social care costs when agreeing the local government grant settlement. (130188)

Policy responsibility for the provision and funding of local authority services in the area of adult and children's social services rest with the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Skills respectively. The Government have provided significant investment in local services, including in the area of social care, since taking office. Total Government grant to local authorities has increased by 39 per cent. in real terms since 1997 and this has delivered real improvements, with the Commission for Social Care Inspection reporting recently that social care services for adults have improved for the fourth successive year.

The Government looked carefully with local government at all their cost pressures in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and the ways they could be managed, and have provided an extra £800 million over the two years above spending plans.

We are committed to ensuring that authorities can continue to deliver effective local services. We are working with local government to identify future cost pressures on local authorities, and the ways in which these can be mitigated, as part of the comprehensive spending review 2007.