The Government have listened and responded to the pressures faced by local authorities. The autumn Budget helped to support financial sustainability of local authorities and provided more than £1 billion of additional funding across this year and next year for local authorities to deliver local services, support vulnerable residents and build vibrant communities.
I welcome the short-term support for adult social care promised in last week’s Budget, but it is a sticking plaster at best. In Nottingham, it costs an average of £450 a week to care for someone at home, compared to £2,500 in hospital. Our NHS trusts are already raising concerns about winter pressures. Inadequate social care provision adds to those pressures and will inevitably cost the Government more in the long term. I know that the Minister understands the importance and efficacy of early intervention and prevention, so can he provide any assurances that he understands the need to fund adult social care sustainably and tell us what support will be provided from 2020 onwards?
The hon. Lady is absolutely right to mention the importance of prevention, and of the interaction between the NHS and social care. Later this year, we will see the publication of the Government’s Green Paper with a long-term sustainable settlement for social care. That will answer her question as to the settlement for social care beyond next year in the spending review.
My hon. Friend the Member for City of Durham (Dr Blackman-Woods) just mentioned Cambridge University research published last month showing that local authority spending cuts have been concentrated on the poorest areas, making disparities with better-off areas much worse. Phasing out central Government grants, as Ministers are proposing, will make that even worse. Are Ministers happy just to let the disparities between different areas rocket?
It may be worth pointing out to the right hon. Gentleman that core spending power per household in the most deprived local authority areas in the country is 23% higher than that in the least deprived. This Government support all communities with the resources that they need.