Saturday, 30 January 2010

Where Do You Think The Money Comes From, Dummies?

The government has "significantly underestimated" the cost of delivering free social care, council chiefs say.
The government's going to pay for this then? I rather thought we were.

So it isn't 'free', is it?
...ministers want to see English councils provide it free to an estimated 280,000 people, mostly the elderly although some have disabilities, to mirror the package available in Scotland.

They estimate that people who fall into the most critical bracket need six and a half hours of care, but the evidence provided by the survey suggests it is double that.

It means councils would have to find more than £500m a year - on top of the £420m provided by government - to fund the scheme if it comes into place in the autumn as forecast.
So, once again, government estimations are proved to be about as reliable as those given by dodgy plumbers and mechanics, albeit without the teeth-sucking and sorrowful headshaking.

And faced with this potential shortfall, not one council has said "I know! We can scrap our bin inspectors/anti-smoking team/community relations outreach surveyors/internal statistics assessment group to pay for this...!"

What a shocker...

5 comments:

woman on a raft said...

To be fair, my local council is currently doing exactly that: looking through which jobs are core-business, such as child protection, and which are fripperies that amounted to handing out other people's money.

It's a small council so it's easy enough to go through the internal phone book and work out which person is doing something indispensible and which ones are luxuries to be cut. I'm hoping they get shot of the 'political aides' which were paid for by tax payers and amounted to SpAds for the parties. To their credit, a certain number of councillors voted against having them at all - obviously they were out-voted - but it's time now for a review. Should save at least £100k.

My personal gripe is hanging basketery. I don't think it adds much to the civic atmosphere at all and can't see why we have thousands of pounds and gallons of water trying to maintain petunias above head-height. They are mad for them - they've even got boxes which clip over every bit of railing and get in the way of some of the prettier views.

Please don't misunderstand me; keeping the civic greens mown and clear of litter, managing the trees and hedges, filling in the permanent planting to avoid dead-spots; it is all good for the civic atmosphere. But I just don't get this mania for convulsions of bedding plants sprouting off gibbets.

John R said...

Let's be honest, any competent businessperson from a small, medium or large company could sit down with his local council and in under a day could hand them a plan to a) get rid of pointless activity and (if that doesnt release enough cash for real work) b) remove excess jobs in existing departments.

None of this is rocket science, businesses do it all the time otherwise they go bust. The problem here is not that councils can't cut costs, it's that they won't because they know they have captive "customers" who can always be ripped off for more money year after year.

If instead of central gummint (ie US!!) paying 80-90% of the bills we had local taxes to fund all local services and councils knew they would be (re)elected on the cost of delivering things in their area I suspect costs would suddenly change.

Anonymous said...

We have looked after all the elderly members of our own family, and now they have all passed away. But in that time, we learned a lot about the practicalities of caring for frail folk. Including changing oxygen tanks, and operating nebulisers.

We asked the council if we could act as home carers for any local pensioners who needed a bit of home care. We were told we were unqualified and could present a hazard to patients. I wish we hadn't asked, just got on with it.

My husband suspects the council want to get the old folk out of their house and into one of their homes, so they can charge what they like and confiscate the house.

Angry Exile said...

The 'cost of free social care'?

/facepalm Putting the moron in oxymoron.

JuliaM said...

"To be fair, my local council is currently doing exactly that: looking through which jobs are core-business, such as child protection, and which are fripperies that amounted to handing out other people's money."

Excellent! That's what they all should be doing.

"My personal gripe is hanging basketery. I don't think it adds much to the civic atmosphere at all and can't see why we have thousands of pounds and gallons of water trying to maintain petunias above head-height."

Oh, agreed. Many's the time I've seen Southend council workmen out in the high street with a cherry picker, watering the baskets.

Usually after it has rained.

Once, actually IN the rain!

"Let's be honest, any competent businessperson from a small, medium or large company could sit down with his local council and in under a day could hand them a plan to a) get rid of pointless activity and (if that doesnt release enough cash for real work) b) remove excess jobs in existing departments."

Yup. Why not do just that? It'd win a lot more votes if people could see that, instead of electing a businessman to a political post, we elected a businessman to a businessman's post...

"My husband suspects the council want to get the old folk out of their house and into one of their homes, so they can charge what they like and confiscate the house."

Oh, yes. Despite all the (empty) promises, that's going to continue. No matter who gets in.